Some of the Electricians are coming in for a caning, over here in New Zealand. This is the result of Statistics released by the Energy Safety Service, that(summing up) more than half of the Electrical Accidents, were caused by personnel failing to perform basic testing after isolating equipment. These accidents include Arc Flashes, Shocks and mechanical injuries from equipment restarting. I don't want to make it sound like we are all careless over here, but this is not a good statistic and it does not say much for a bunch of people that are supposed to be trained professionals. I've used isolation and testing procedures since the first day I started my Sparkies Apprenticeship and I don't intend stopping now. What do you guys think?.
Energy isolation, or as we call it over here, LOTO, is one of the more personal safety procedures. I always stress to my workers that LOTO is solely up to you as an individual and no one else. No one can lock out a piece of equipment for you, as you are the one that has to lock it out BEFORE you start to work on it.
As for the testing segment of LOTO, I am amazed at the number of employees who: 1) have never been trained or told to test before starting work and 2) testing a machine by just hiting the start/stop switch even when the equipment was dead to begin with. Most safety professionals have heard the phrase "Lock and Try". Not sure where it came from, but it sures does speak volumes! Working on equipment that has no been verified to be at ZERO energy state adds a tremendous amount of risk to an already hazardous task. In my 13 years as a safety pro, I have seen dozens of nearmisses and accidents where the wrong energy source was locked out, worker was working on the wrong equipment, or a tue verification of ZERO energy was never obtained. People lock ouot the wrong breakers more often than we think. This could be because of a project that did not relabel breakers or incorrect labeled them. Or the classic...not enough breakers in a cabinet so some genius wires up the equipment on an existing equipment and never reflects this in the drawings or on the panel label!!!!
Either way it goes, LOTO is NOT COMPLETED UNTIL a qualified worker has VERIFIED ZERO ENERGY BEFORE work begins!
By the way, in yesterday's daily incident alerts, this LOTO incident appeared. Clearly a LOTO incident!!!
Man's foot damaged in machinery May 20, 2003, 15:34:00 A worker suffered serious injuries to his foot after it got caught in machinery at a Staffordshire building components factory. The man was servicing powder transfer machinery when it rotated and trapped him. He was pulled free by a work colleague at Swish Building Products in Tamworth last night. Paramedics were called to the firm, in Mariner, on Lichfield Industrial Estate, shortly after 9.10pm, and the worker was rushed to Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield. Swish Managing Director Ken Simpson said: "He was servicing a powder transfer unit which rotated and trapped his foot. "A colleague grabbed him and helped him free. "It was very quick and very frightening." He added: "We hope he will be out of hospital tomorrow." Staffordshire Ambulance Service spokesman Bob Lee said: "The patient suffered serious injuries to his foot. "He was given extensive pain-killing drugs at the scene and taken to Good Hope where he was in a stable condition." Lichfield and Tamworth firefighters were called out to the factory, which makes parts for roofs, fascias and windows, although the man had already been released from the machinery before they arrived. The Health and Safety Executive said today it had been informed and would be investigating the incident.
Bryan, I prefer "try, lock, try" to "lock, try". If I see it work before I lock it out, and see it not work after I lock it out, I have much more confidence that I have locked the correct energy source. If I only use "lock, try" and there is some other problem the prevents the equipment from operating, I could have the wrong energy source locked out. Don
Re: Basic Test Procedures#148942 05/21/0306:52 PM05/21/0306:52 PM
Fairly certain OSHA 1910.269, for >600 or 1kV in the US, mandates known-live test>>use on circuit to contact>>known-live test again. It is poor practice to do otherwise for any potentially-energized circuit.
Re: Basic Test Procedures#148943 05/21/0308:13 PM05/21/0308:13 PM
unforetely i deal with med voltage system like 4160 system and anytime work on it use live tester to verify to make sure line are dead then ground it out. the reason to ground it because it can hold :voltage" charge like capatior does and i use lock and try test and double check the sources like air, electric , hydruallic , etc etc to make sure it is off in postive way
Pas de problme,il marche n'est-ce pas?"(No problem, it works doesn't it?)
Re: Basic Test Procedures#148944 05/22/0305:48 AM05/22/0305:48 AM
Two years ago (before I found out about this place and started reading up on safety and proper work procedures) I was changing a 20-amp/120-volt air conditioner socket on a dedicated circuit.
I threw the breaker, opened the box and undid the mounting screws. I reach into that box like a greedy little kid with a cookie jar to pull the socket out.
~~~~~~~~~~ZAPPP!!!!~~~~~~~~~~ and my arm jerks back all numb leaving me sitting all confused there for a couple of minutes.
I had opened the wrong 20-amp breaker!!!! I was in a rush and idiot me NEVER bothered retesting the socket to make sure it was totally dead.
Moral of the story is always take your time.
Test device. Open breaker. Test device again. undo the cover plate, touch your tester probes to the contact screws just to make sure. Proceed with your work. Sure it takes me twice as long to change a device now, but it beats getting bit.
Re: Basic Test Procedures#148947 05/23/0302:13 PM05/23/0302:13 PM