Hazardous Energy Control (Lockout/Tagout)
Hazardous Energy Sources
Energy sources, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal or other sources in machines and equipment, can be hazardous to workers.
During the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment, the unexpected startup or release of stored energy could cause injury to employees. Therefore, procedures to lock and/or tagout energy
courses are very important.
Lockout/Tagout of Equipment
Proper lockout/tagout (LOTO) practices and procedures should always be used to protect workers from the release of any source of electrical, high-pressure, tension, kinetic, mechanical, hydraulic,
pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other hazardous energy. For more information see 29 CFR 1910.147.
When using lockout/tagout procedures, be sure to:
- Use an approved lockout/tagout device when performing maintenance or repair work on equipment to ensure all equipment is in a zero energy state (cold and dead).
- Locks should never be removed by anyone but the owner of the lock without the approval of an authorized company representative.
- Use a secure lock and chain or double block and bleed systems to values if an accidental opening or closing could create a hazard to workers.
- Verify Lockout devices are correctly attached and cycle off/on switches to verify that the equipment is properly locked-out before starting work.
- Only a combination lock with identification tag is allowed to ensure an effective lockout.
- In addition to lockout devices, place ’Do Not Operate’ tags on all necessary valves and engagement devices used in the isolating or locking out of equipment.
- Activate the proper blocking, braking, and securing devices of all equipment when servicing or repairing electrical, rotating equipment, and/or auxiliary power.
Equipment and Piping Isolation
When isolating equipment and piping, be sure to:
- Isolation should be in place and proven effective before work begins and remain in place during the work activities.
- Properly isolate, release pressure, and de-energize equipment and associated piping before any work is done.
- Use lockout and tagout as appropriate and use of safety blinds and/or valves to secure piping associated with serviced equipment.
- A work permit should be issued before starting the work after breaking the integrity of piping or equipment.
- Use safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers and respiratory protection, if there is potential to expose the worker to hazardous substances.
- Isolate the piping in accordance with current regulations and company practices when breaking the integrity of hazardous or harmful piping under pressure.
- Use approved blinds or blanks, a double block and bleed method, or another alternate means of isolation that provides adequate protection to workers.
- Lock and tag valves with “Do Not Operate”, and clearly mark all blinds and blanks.
- When safety blinds are installed, keep a record of blind number, location, size, and pressure rating and blinds.
- Correctly pressure rate gaskets for their specific service.
- Install gaskets used in conjunction with blinds where possible, on both sides of the blind.
- Keep a record of the location and position valves left in for isolation, for example, open or closed.
- Check the isolation log to verify that all blinds have been removed and that all valves have been put back to normal operating position before removing locks, blinds or valves.
- Disconnect, blind, or isolate all associated piping using the double block and bleed method when isolating equipment for confined space entry.
Hoses and Piping under Pressure
Hoses and pipes under pressure are very hazardous and care must be taken when working with them. It’s important to understand how pressure is measured.
Gauges on platforms are usually calibrated to read zero pressure at sea level. Gauges measure pressure in pounds per square inch gauge (psig)- the force in pounds of pressure per square inch on a
surface relative to atmospheric pressure. When you read 40 psig on a gauge, the actual or “absolute” pressure (psia) which is the pressure relative to a zero-pressure environment (outer space)
would be 14.7 psi greater or 54.7 psia.
When using temporary hoses and piping under pressure, ensure the following:
- Secure temporary hose, piping, and/or associated connections operating under pressure. This will help prevent workers from falling or moving objects while disconnecting.
- All temporary hoses, piping, and/or associated connections operating at a working pressure of 290 psig or more should be designed and used according to manufacturer specifications or certified by a
- Establish a safe work zone and post warning signs before temporary hoses and piping are pressurized to 290 psig or more.
- No workers should enter a danger zone while hoses or piping are under pressure unless allowed to do so by a supervisor or authorized representative.
Hot tapping is a method used to make a connection to an existing piping or pressure vessels without interrupting or emptying that section of the piping or vessel. Do the following when conducting
hot tap operations:
- Hot tapping is not permitted without the written consent of a company Representative.
- Prior to hot tapping, workers performing the hot tap should review the contractor/company Hot Tapping and In-service Welding standard.
- Hot tap procedures should comply with applicable company and governmental regulations.
Air Hoses and Compressed Air
Compressed air should not be used to clean clothing or equipment with small or loose parts.
Using compressed air is not permitted in the following situations:
- As a carrier agent for solvents while cleaning equipment.
- For pressure testing vessels or pipelines, unless specifically approved by a company Representative(s) and the Safety Department.
- When any soft line air hoses are in use at pressures over 15 psig, use a securing system over the hose connections.
- To ensure that whip-check securing systems are used correctly and are properly fitted, follow manufacturer specifications. Homemade and/or uncertified securing systems should not be acceptable.
- Do not use worm gear type hose clamps on offshore facilities.
Compressed air is dangerous. When using air-operated equipment:
- Make sure pneumatic power tools are in good working condition.
- Use only proper connectors, fittings, and hoses.
- Bleed off air pressure before disconnecting the air hose.
- Make sure lubricators and water traps are in good working order.
- Drain air tanks daily of any accumulated water.
- Never install valves between a tank, compressor, or other equipment and its relief valve.
- To limit the pressure and flow, regulate compressed air used for cleaning purposes to 30psi.
- Make sure regulators are adjusted to the recommended air operating pressure.
- Never configure pneumatic power tools such that they may remain in a locked-on position.
Other General Hose Types
Soft Line and Hydraulic Hoses
- Use a securing system over connection points when using any soft line hose on boiler systems operating at a pressure greater than 15 psig including a soft line connected to steel piping.
- Use a ‘whip-check’ securing system over the connection points when using any soft line hose over 6.5 feet in length on hydraulic systems operating at a pressure greater than 100 psig-this includes soft line hoses connected to steel piping.
- Make sure all hydraulic hoses, including new and repaired hoses, and those being fabricated on site, are integrity tested.
- Check all hoses for appropriate pressure ratings and that they are suitable for the intended service or product.
Pigging and Pressure Testing
Pigging refers to using devices called “pigs” to perform maintenance on a pipeline without stopping the flow of the product.
When pigging and pressure testing:
- Develop safe procedures prior to the start of work related to pigging and testing.
- A competent and authorized person should verify that the line and/or pig trap (launcher) is depressurized before removing a test head or the opening of a pig launcher or receiver.
- During pigging or testing operations, only workers directly involved with the work should be in the immediate work zone.
- When the pipe or pig launcher or receiver is under pressure, post warning signs and do not allow workers in work zone of either end of the pipe.
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