A new website from the National Occupational Research Agenda Manufacturing Sector Council features ways in which businesses and companies can safeguard employees from the release of hazardous energy during service and maintenance activities.
This issue was taken up by NORA, the partnership program developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which identifies workplace safety and health issues that require more attention and research.
Risks from Stored Energy
Injuries and deaths can result from the unsafe release, presence, or activation of stored energy during servicing or repair.
For instance, an employee who tries to clear a jam but either fails to de-energize the machine or fails to lockout sources of energy allows another person (passers-by, contractor, temporary worker, or close coworkers) to dangerously reactivate the system.
Specific practices and procedures ensuring deactivation and the control of reactivation, referred to as lockout/tagout, are meant to safeguard employees from unexpected startup of machinery, unsafe release of energy, or exposure to uncontrolled hazards, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other hazards.
The new website provides current and adapted resources to help companies and businesses start or improve and maintain any existing lockout/tagout programs they may already have in place.
It features a resource guide with step-by-step guidance and customizable materials and templates to help with the implementation of effective strategies for the control of unsafe hazardous energy release.
As part of its mission to promote the adoption of solutions for the over 15 million manufacturing workers in the nation, the Manufacturing Sector Council has provided this resource after a thorough, collaborative, and vetted effort.