U.S. Department of Labor
Process: Hazardous Energy
Workers in the shipyard industry face unique conditions and complex situations that put them at great risk for injuries and/or fatalities. This risk is especially high during the servicing of machinery, equipment, or systems throughout shipyard employment when there is the potential for inadvertent startup or release of hazardous energy. This includes servicing on vessels and vessel sections, and in landside facilities. The complexity of these types of operations is compounded by the intricacy of the worksite, the large number of workers in the work force, the involvement of multiple employers, and the vast array of machinery, equipment, and systems that workers may be servicing.
This guidance document highlights the harmful effects of hazardous energy and ways to control it, including the lockout/tags-plus requirements outlined in 29 CFR Part 1915.89 – Control of Hazardous Energy. Employers and workers should refer to 1915.89, rather than this document, for detailed information on how to fully comply with the standard's requirements. OSHA collected the information used in this document primarily from shipyard personnel and reflects actual shipyard experiences. OSHA encourages employers and workers to communicate and share experiences to ensure a safe and healthy work environment for all workers.
Additional information is available from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) at:
Guidance for applicability of standards is available in the OSHA Shipyard Employment "Tool Bag" Directive, CPL 02-00-157, dated April 1, 2014. This directive can be found on the OSHA website. See also Safety and Health Injury Prevention Sheet on Shipboard Electrical.
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