Maintenance Technology October 2015 - (Page 37)

ELECTRICAL SAFETY Overcome Lockout/Tagout Challenges WHILE THERE ARE ONLY six basic steps in the Lockout Tagout (LOTO) process, plants frequently don't execute it correctly. The challenges, according to GE's William Todd Burns, often involve differing, seemingly conflicting, and overly complicated administrative processes found in operations with multiple sites. Burns offers some insight on overcoming these challenges. 1. Build a culture based on modern safety practices. In the past, the industry expectation was to work on energized equipment to avoid shutdowns and maintain efficiency. With the intensified focus on worker safety and the increasingly dangerous power levels in today's electrical systems, organizations must implement an energized electrical work permit (EEWP) program. A properly implemented EEWP program requires repairs on electrical components to be performed de-energized-unless de-energization is deemed unfeasible. The goal of an EEWP program is to prohibit employees from performing energized repair work, and, when energized work can be justified, to ensure additional risk assessment is conducted, and safety defenses are in place to protect personnel. 2. Keep things simple. To be performed correctly, LOTO processes must be kept simple. Workers are trained on the basic steps. The addition of varying steps and/or administrative controls can be confusing. OCTOBER 2015 To be performed correctly, LOTO processes must be kept simple. Workers are trained on the basic steps. When additional steps or administrative controls vary, it's easy for personnel to become confused. 3. Plan for the unexpected. Although it's preferable for workers to protect themselves by placing their personal locks and tags on energy sources, many plant LOTO programs don't allow this. If that's the case, a physical barrier is needed, and additional measures must be taken to ensure that accidental activation of the energy source doesn't lead to worker injury-an approach referred to as "tag plus." 4. Leverage transition tags. A transition lock and tag is used when equipment must remain under LOTO, even though a worker isn't actively involved or in contact with it, i.e., when it is unsafe to energize equipment between work shifts. This allows LOTO continuity between different personnel and requires workers to walk down and verify zero energy at each source, on each shift. 5. Train and communicate. All LOTO practices must be communicated in training programs and at regular refresher courses for site electrical workers. Detailed and applicable training exerts the single largest, positive impact on a LOTO program. It arms workers with knowledge of what to do when faced with differing and complicated LOTO programs. MT Don't Forget These Steps ■ Create a process to address variances in your organization's LOTO procedures. ■ Review and compare all applicable LOTO procedures and identify discrepancies before work begins. ■ When comparing multiple LOTO procedures, always be sure to follow the most restrictive. ■ Verify zero energy initially and often, every day. ■ Ensure temporary personalprotective grounds are installed. William Todd Burns is an environmental health and safety manager for GE Energy Management's North American Services business, Atlanta, and an electrical-safety-program champion supporting GE Energy Management Field Services. For information, visit MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM | 37 http://www.MAINTENANCETECHNOLOGY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology October 2015

My Take
For on the Floor
Industry News
Crushing Limestone with Reliability
Choose Reliability or Cost Control
Get To The Root of the Cause
Select the Right Safety Logic System
Simple Purchasing Practices Incite Lubrication Failure
CMMS Upgrade Tips
Pump-Bearing Alignment
Lockout/Tagout Advice
Advancing Ergonomics
Ad Index

Maintenance Technology October 2015