Are Your Employees Safeguarded (Lockout/Tagout Kits) from Energized Electrical Systems?
When thinking about options for electrical protection or dangerous machines and machinery, you normally have two choices: (1) Locking out and tagging the equipment with the use of lockout / tagout kits, and / or (2) Providing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Whether you choose lockout/tagout kits or providing PPE equipment, it depends on the work, the workplace and the tasks at hand. Whenever possible, electrical workers must deenergize all circuits and equipment to be worked on by implementing appropriate lockout/tagout procedures. Only under certain conditions can employees be allowed to work on exposed energized parts. If PPE still is required, the OSHA requirements for selecting appropriate electrical PPE are outlined in [section]1910.137, Electrical Protective Equipment.
Lockout / Tagout kits usually address ball valve lockout / tagout, electrical plug lockouts, circuit breaker lockouts, lockout hasps, and other types of valve lockout / tagout solutions.
When Lockout/Tagout Isn’t an Option
If your employees can't lockout and tag out the electrical equipment and must work on or near energized components, OSHA provides guidance on what must done: (1) Only qualified employees can work on electric circuits or equipment that has not been deenergized using lockout/tagout procedures; (2) Qualified employees* must be able to work safely on energized circuits; (3) The qualified employee must be familiar with the proper use of special precautionary techniques, personal protective equipment, insulating and shielding materials and insulated tools; (4) Employees working in areas where there are potential electrical hazards must be provided with and use electrical protective equipment that is appropriate for the specific parts of the body to be protected and for the work to be performed.
*OSHA defines a qualified employee as one who has received training in and has demonstrated skills and knowledge in the construction and operation of electric equipment and installations and the hazards involved.
Electrical work is hazardous, but it doesn't need to be dangerous. While a lockout/ tagout solution provides the safest work environment, it is not always possible. If employees must work on exposed energized equipment put your thinking cap on. You have to ensure your employees are safe when working on energized electrical systems.
All Safety Products, Inc. sells a wide assortment of lockout / tagout kits* to include manufacturers such as North Safety and a wide range of lockout / tagout kits to include Electrical Plug Lockouts, Lockout Hasps, Lockout/Tagout Toolbox Kit, Red B-Safe® Ball Valve Lockout For Valves, Red Group Lock Box For Work Team Lockout Situations, and valve lockout/tagout Kits.
*To ensure you are meeting OSHA requirements and other applicable safety standards and practices, it is best to hire a professional safety consultant (www.aiha.org) or call your local OSHA area office or your state OSHA Consultation Services for their interpretation of your situation.