As a Texas construction worker, you likely have experience working with or alongside heavy-duty machinery.
When you need to maintain the equipment, there is a risk that stored energy could cause the machinery to move while you are still in a dangerous position. These hazardous energy accidents often lead to severe injuries or even death.
What is hazardous energy?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists several hazardous energy sources. Construction workers are more likely to encounter the following:
These are the usual sources of energy found in heavy equipment components such as pistons, engines and capacitors.
What is lockout/tagout?
There are many ways that a release of stored energy could hurt you in addition to the accidental startup of equipment while you are inside. According to SafetySkills, lockout/tagout is a process that removes as much risk as possible that the machinery will start moving again before you complete the repair.
Lcokout/tagout involves the identification, shutdown, isolation and release of any potential stored energy in the equipment. The worker performing the procedure must zone off moving components and remove any affected employees from the immediate area. Finally, the worker adds a lock and tag to the power switch and the energy isolation devices.
Who performs the lockout/tagout?
Several different people could perform lockout/tagout duties. In a large construction site, management might designate an authorized person other than the servicer to handle the procedure. If you are the sole operator of the equipment, you could be the authorized lockout/tagout person and the servicer. The authorized person must be familiar with the equipment and its potential hazards and be responsible for completing the procedure correctly.