Machine Safety

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If employees of a company are required to perform hazardous maintenance or repair of machines/equipment, a formal, written Lock out/Tag out program must be developed and implemented. This program must include machine-specific procedures for shut-down and re-energizing equipment and training for “affected” employees (those who operate, service, or work near the equipment in question).

The procedures must be followed during the servicing or maintenance of machines to avoid the “unexpected energization or start up of the machinery or equipment, or the release of stored energy, which could cause injury to employees.”

Procedures will vary, depending on the following:

  1. Whether the source of hazardous energy is electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, thermal, or chemical.
  2. How many employees are affected.

All employees should be familiar with lock out/tag out procedures for their company’s operations and a review should be done periodically.

The following steps are a review of what should be done to safely de-energize equipment:

  1. Think, plan, and check: Identify all parts of any systems that need to be shut down. Find the switches, valves, or other devices that need to be locked out.
  2. Notify all “affected” employees that the equipment will be shut down.
  3. Shut down the equipment by normal stopping procedures and make sure all power sources have been located, including stored energy in springs or hydraulic systems.
  4. Neutralize all power at its source. Disconnect electricity, block movable parts. Release or block spring energy, drain/bleed hydraulic and pneumatic lines. Lower suspended parts to rest positions.
  5. Lock out/tag out the energy isolating devices with assigned, individual locks. Use locks specifically designed for this purpose.
  6. Assure that no personnel are exposed and then test the operating controls to be sure the power doesn’t come on.
  7. Turn controls back to off, then perform necessary repairs/maintenance.

When maintenance is complete, before restarting equipment:

  1. Check to make sure all employees are out of the area.
  2. Remove tools, reinstall machine guards.
  3. Verify equipment controls are in neutral position.
  4. Remove lock out devices and re-energize the machine/equipment.
  5. Notify affected employees that machines are back in use.

KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.

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