Hazardous energy control on machinery

Understanding the use of alternative methods to lockout
National standards and regulations in many countries establish requirements for controlling hazardous energy related to machinery that could cause accidents linked to the release of these energies, unexpected energization or start-up of machines or equipment. These standards and regulations describe alternative methods to lockout and the conditions for using them. The purpose of the study is to understand the application of alternative methods to lockout and investigate how they are implemented in accordance with the Canadian standard and regulation in force. Therefore, in this qualitative research, the application of alternative methods for control of hazardous energies was studied in 14 organizations in Quebec (Canada). A questionnaire that included 15 questions on the application of alternative methods was designed and used. In each organization, the research team conducted a group interview, collected additional data from observations and documentation, and completed the questionnaire. Results indicated the need to increase knowledge about alternative methods to lockout and the regulation. Actual practices in the organizations visited demonstrated that alternative methods were used without being compliant with the standard and regulation. A risk assessment was not carried out before applying an alternative method. Moreover, a general working procedure for alternative methods was missing or incomplete in all the organizations. There was a lack of training in alternative methods as well as lack of audit/inspections of their application. In this regard, recommendations for addressing identified shortcomings are proposed.

Source: Karimi, Benyamin, Burlet-Vienney, Damien, Chinniah, Yuvin et Aucourt, Barthelemy. (2019). Safety Science, 118, 519-529.  

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