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Safety Advisory: LOTO

There are several thousand injuries that occur each year that are the result of the release of stored energy or from the startup of equipment as it is being worked on. Of these injuries, there are many of them that result in fatalities. Stored or potential energy, even in small amounts, poses a very real and threatening hazard. Luckily there is a procedure, which when done correctly and consistently, can reduce and possibly eliminate this hazard. That procedure is lockout/tagout. It is important for all employees to become familiar with this and to know how to successfully complete this procedure.

  1. All employees should be familiar with the lockout/tagout procedure for the clients facility in which they are working for as the procedure may vary.
  2. All lockout/tagout information can be found within CFR 1910.147 and the Shamrock lockout/tagout procedure can be found on the company intranet.
  3. As said above, become familiar with the facilities lockout/tagout procedure but below are the general steps used when energizing and de-energizing equipment.

 

De-Energizing Procedure:

  1. Notify all “affected employees” that the equipment will be shut down. Affected employees are employees that are required to use the equipment that is being worked on.
  2. Shut down the equipment by normal stopping procedures.
  3. “Isolate” all the equipment energy sources. This can be done by turning off all switches, valves, circuit breakers, etc.
  4. Lockout and tagout the energy isolating device with assigned and individual locks. (Every employee working on the equipment must have his on lockout/tagout device.)
  5. Release or restrain any stored energy by grounding, blocking, bleeding, tying back, etc.
  6. Assure that no personnel are exposed to the equipment and then test the equipment to make sure it will not operate.

 

Energizing Procedure:

  1. Check to assure that all employees are safely positioned and moved from the area.
  2. Verify that equipment control are in neutral.
  3. Remove lockout devices and/or tags and reenergize the equipment by normal operating procedures.
  4. Remove lockout devices and/or tags and reenergize the equipment by normal operating procedures.

Only authorized employees should perform the servicing and maintenance of equipment. It is also important to remember that the lockout/tagout procedure is not just written for mechanical or electrical equipment but can also be used with any type of stored energy such as pneumatic or hydraulic pressure, chemical, thermal, etc. We also need to always use Stop Work Authority if necessary. You have the right and responsibility to stop work that is unsafe. Working Safe is a condition of employment at Shamrock Energy Solutions; we want all employees to go home safely to their families and friends.