U.S. Department of Labor
Process: Hazardous Energy
Control of Hazardous Energy in Shipyard Employment
Servicing activities that are exempt from the lockout/tags-plus requirements -- such as machinery, equipment, or systems powered by cord and plug, or minor servicing operations – may kill or injure workers when there are no safety measures in place. Injuries include caught-by, struck-by or pinned-by injuries caused by equipment or moving parts; amputations; and burns.
Never service equipment without an effective means of protection. While these activities are exempt from the use of lockout/tags-plus applications, safeguarding techniques are necessary when they (1) prevent employees from placing their hands or body parts into a hazardous machine area, or (2) detect and prevent inadvertent access to a hazard.
Examples of some effective safeguarding techniques include:
- Barrier guards
- Pressure sensing devices (RF, electro-optical, and area scanning)
- Interlock barrier guards
- Safety mats
- Restraint devices
System schematics do not always match the machinery, equipment, or systems workers are servicing; this is especially true aboard vessels where an upgrade or previous repair altered the system. Such differences can lead to injuries or fatalities if an energy source is overlooked during the deenergization and application of lockout/tags-plus procedures.
Before starting work, employers must facilitate the testing of the machinery, equipment, or system to ensure it is completely deenergized and rendered inoperative.