Safetip #79: Verify That Energy Control Procedures Are Followed
If machines are not properly shut off during maintenance or servicing work, they can unexpectedly start up again or release stored energy. The unanticipated release of hazardous energy (e.g. electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal) can create a risk of serious injury.
Perform Periodic Reviews At Least Annually
The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) of the state of Washington makes available Safety Standards for Lockout/Tagout. The standards highlight the need to perform and document periodic reviews to verify that employees know and follow energy control procedures. While the L&I rules included in the document have jurisdiction only in the state of Washington, they nevertheless can be adopted as best practices by anyone.
Organizations should do a periodic review at least annually to:
- Make sure employees know and can apply the energy control procedures
- Correct any deviations or inadequacies identified
Energy control procedures used less frequently than once a year can be reviewed only before being used.
The periodic review should be done by an authorized employee other than the ones using the energy control procedure being reviewed. An authorized employee is an employee who locks or tags out a machine or equipment to do service or maintenance, while an affected employee is one who operates or uses the machine or equipment, or is in the area where a machine or equipment could be locked or tagged out.
The completion of the periodic review should be documented by including the following:
- Machine or equipment the energy control procedure was used for
- Date of review
- Employees included in the review
- Person doing the review
Review Also Procedures That Use Lockout or Tagout Devices
The L&I standards also talk about doing periodic reviews of procedures using lockout or tagout devices. For periodic reviews involving lockout devices, the reviewing employee must review responsibilities with each authorized employee who uses the procedure. Periodic reviews of authorized employees using energy control procedures involving only lockout devices can also be done in group meetings.
For periodic reviews involving tagout devices, the reviewing employee must review the following with each authorized and affected employee: 1) Employee’s responsibilities under the procedure; 2) Limitations of tagout devices. Periodic reviews of authorized and affected employees using energy control procedures involving tagout devices must be done with each employee individually.
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