Locking or tagging out equipment is a way to control a potential situation, protecting a person against the release of hazardous energy.
What is hazardous energy?
Energy sources including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other sources in machines and equipment can be hazardous to workers. Hazardous energy also includes blocking/securing items that can rotate or fall simply from the law of gravity. During the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment, the unexpected startup or release of stored energy can result in a devastating outcome to workers.
What are the consequences?
Workers servicing or maintaining equipment may be seriously injured or killed if hazardous energy is not properly controlled. Injuries may include electrocution, burns, crushing, cutting, lacerating, amputating, or fracturing body parts, and others.
What can be done to control hazardous energy and protect employees?
The following is a basic outline necessary to disable equipment to prevent a hazardous energy release: