A number of various chemicals, hot or cold water as well as
steam can cause serious injury to a worker performing maintenance. According to the OSHA regulation 1910.147, “The
Control of Hazardous Energy” (Lockout/Tagout) all sources of energy to include,
hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal must be locked out during a
maintenance operation. To help satisfy that requirement, devices have been
developed to insure that both liquids and gases are securely locked out.
An arc flash occurs when electric current strays from the
path designed for it and instead travels through air to another electrical
conductor. The flash results in an uncontrolled voltage surge that can severely
injure a person or persons in close proximity.
Unintended conductors include dust, tools, water, corrosion,
faulty wiring to name a few. The arc
flash can be responsible for fire, for burns, flying objects, extreme blast
pressure, sound blast and heat. To protect against the possibility of arc
flashes, the National Fire Protection Association has developed a series of
four “Flash Approach Boundaries” to help limit the effects of the flash.
There are many many industrial situations where information
has to be inputted onto an informational tag. For example, lockout:tagout
procedures; maintenance order instructions; a specific valve number has to be
added; right-to-know information, biohazard announcements, just to name a few.
Often times the tag has to be written up immediately and placed in position. An
ideal way to do this is with a Pressure-Sensitive tag or as Idesco calls it – A
“P-tag.” That is because the tag can easily
have information added to it with either pen or pencil and can be sealed by
simply removing the release paper from the pressure-sensitive adhesive. No
heat-seal lamination is required.
Safety is the most important concern on the job. And Hard hats play an
important role in worker protection. They are a relatively inexpensive way to
protect against serious injury. The Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, OSHA has very strict regulations regarding the use of Hard Hats
for employees. Typical employees who must wear hart hats include but are not
limited to: carpenters, electricians, lineman, mechanic, plumbers, assembler’s
sawyers, welders, laborers, freight handlers, timber cutters and loggers and
warehouse personnel. CFR 1910 135 (a)
(1) states that each affected employee shall wear protective helmets when
working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling
objects. Furthermore, 135 (a) (2) states that Protective helmets designed to
reduce electrical shock hazard shall be worn by each such affected employee
when near exposed electrical conductors which could contact the head.
Within the OSHA Lockout:Tagout regulation, 1910.147 is this prominent
Definition of an Energy Isolating Device: A mechanical device that physically
prevents the transmission or release of energy, including but not limited to
the following: A manually operated electrical circuit breaker; a disconnect
switch; a manually operated switch by which the conductors of a circuit can be
disconnected from all ungrounded supply conductors and, in addition no pole can
be operated independently; a line valve; a block and any similar device used to
block or isolate energy. Push buttons, selector switches and other control
circuit type devices are not energy isolating devices. This has led to a myriad
of circuit breaker lockout solutions. Factories throughout the United States,
in fact the world, now have a variety of lockout solutions for their single
pole and multi-pole circuit breakers.
Often times electrical equipment being used in a factory operation may suddenly shut down. This may be due to an internal power malfunction, a local power plant problem, a sudden jam in a gear, just to name a few. When this type of unintentional shut down takes place, it is extremely important to insure that the equipment does not suddenly start up again. Such an event may catch employees by surprise and lead to a serious accident. The Sensing Saf-Start device automatically “opens” the circuit once there is a sudden power loss. The circuit will remain “open” as long as the equipment power switch is “on.” Once the power switch is turned “off”, the Sensing Saf-Start device will then close the circuit. At that point, with everyone aware that the equipment can now be safely restarted, the power switch can be turned “on” and normal operation resumed.
In September of 1989, The OSHA Lockout:Tagout Regulation CFR1910.147 went into effect. It clearly stated that equipment being serviced had to be completely shut down and had to be both "Locked Out" and "Tagged Out" (with the tag firmly attached to the lock) clearly identifying the person or persons involved in that servicing operation. Furthermore, to insure the tag could not inadvertently slip off, tear off or somehow be removed from the padlock, both the tag and the device used to attach it to the padlock had to be strong enough to "pull" 50 pounds. And thus, the LockWrap(R) Padlock Label was created. The LockWrap acts as a tag and is wrapped securely around the padlock and cannot be removed.
(c) (5)(i) of Lockout Regulation CFR 1910.147 states that Locks, tags, chains,
wedges, key blocks, adapter pins, self-locking fasteners, or other hardware
shall be provided by the employer for isolating, securing or blocking of
machines or equipment from energy sources. Fuse holders and fuse panels are
types of energy systems that are difficult to lockout. In order to satisfy the
OSHA rule, devices have been devised that “blockout and “latchout” these energy
sources. These devices keeps the electrical energy systems “OPEN” with no way
for electrical energy to be reconnected. However, as there is no latch on these
devices, there not be a padlock to insure that these devices will not be
The OSHA Confined
Space Regulation, CFR1910.146 is designed to prevent accidents to employees
when working in a space where one has limited or restricted access for entry or
exit and while in that area might meet up with liquids, gases or obstacles.
Thus, a person entering a confined space must be fully trained in the hazards
to be faced and must wear the appropriate protective clothing. The area is also
constantly monitored for air quality. Before entering a confined space area,
one has to receive a “Confined Space Permit.” To help the process along, a
series of signs and tags have been created. They contain proper procedures to
follow, Caution and Danger announcements as well as directions for those both
entering the area or assisting in the operation.
A smoke-free workplace has many advantages. It reduces the amount of smoking by employees. It
also protects others from the dangers of second-hand smoke. Furthermore,
for the employer, it significantly reduces health care costs. People exposed to
smoke in the workplace are 17% more likely to develop lung cancer.
not have any regulations that apply directly to smoking in the workplace.
However OSHA does have standards which limit the exposure levels of a number of
chemicals. And many of the chemicals are found in tobacco smoke. They include but are not limited to limits on carbon
monoxide, nicotine, sulfur dioxide, ammonia, nitric oxide, formaldehyde and
arsenic. So essentially these require that is no smoking or very limited smoking take
place in the workplace. In addition, employers do have a legal right to both
restrict and also prohibit completely the use of tobacco. In some cases, of course, especially when flammable materials or hazardous machinery is present, it is imperative that smoking be prohibited.
To ensure regulations are followed and
workplace safety improved, a number of workplace signs have been created.
For example where chemicals are used the following
essential signs should be posted: DANGER, OXYGEN, NO SMOKING, NO OPEN FLAMES; DANGER,
BENZENE, CANCER HAZARD, FLAMMABLE – NO SMOKING, AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY.
In areas where
lead is present: WARNING, LEAD WORK
AREA, POISON!! NO SMOKING OR EATING. That sign may also include a skeleton
When smoking is allowed in some places, a sign may announce: NO SMOKING
EXCEPT IN DESIGNATED AREAS.
Or some prefer low-key signs, such as: THANK YOU FOR NOT SMOKING. Those signs may include
the standard symbol of a cigarette within a circle with a diagonal red line
going through it.
In work areas
populated by multilingual employees the sign may be in more than one language.
An example of that kind of sign might state: NO SMOKING, NO FUMAR.
Signs may be constructed of durable vinyl, with pressure-sensitive backing (for adhering to walls or doors), tough rigid plastic, or the most durable of all, anodized aluminum signs.
industrial zones and factories, employers are required by law to establish and
implement a lockout/tagout program as mandated by OSHA. Workers performing
service or maintenance on machinery and equipment may be exposed to injuries
from the unexpected energy start up of the machinery or equipment, or release
of stored energy in the equipment. The purpose of this program is to raise
awareness of workplace safety and prevent accidents and injuries from occurring
on the job.
When implementing OSHA1910.147, “The Control of Hazardous
Energy,” one is required to attach a tag and a padlock to the locking device
protecting the equipment. But what is the best way for the tag in question to
have the most impact? All tags must have the OSHA (or ANSI) DANGER header,
along with the phrase “Do Not Operate.” However more can be done to raise
awareness to all the personnel involved in a lockout situation. By adding a
photograph of the person performing maintenance during the lockout situation
and including the phrase “My Life Is OnThe Line” makes this tag stand out and
really brings out the Safety Message.
Proper Padlock Keying for Lockout:Tagout
The OSHA Lockout:Tagout regulation CFR1910.147 states
that Lockout Device is: A device that utilizes a positive means such as a lock,
either key or combination type, to hold an energy isolating device in the safe position
and prevent the energizing of a machine or equipment
usually combined with a specific type of lockout device such as a circuit
breaker lockout or gate valve lockout insure that machinery cannot be in
operation during a lockout:tagout situation. In fact a lockout:tagout operation
will not begin until all machinery and equipment involved is locked out by the
appropriate device and the appropriate lock.
basically 3 ways that padlocks are configured for Lockout:Tagout operations.
Padlocks can be set up “Keyed Alike.” In this situation
more than one padlock being used has the same key set to open the locks Padlocks
can be set up “Keyed Differently.” In this situation a number of padlocks being
used have different key sets. So only a key for a specific padlock will open only
that padlock and no other. Padlocks can also be set up to be “Master Keyed.” In
this case, one or more persons, perhaps the supervisors will a key that will
open many if not all padlocks being used, regardless of whether they are keyed
alike or keyed differently.
Each year, there are countless work-related eye injuries.
With the kind of eye protection available today and the comprehensive OSHA
regulations in place these injuries could be and should be avoided. And along
with the painful and serious injuries to the workers involved comes the cost of
medical expenses, lost production time and worker compensation.
The OSHA regulations required employers to provide both eye
and face protection against chemical, environmental, radiological as well as
mechanical irritants and hazards. In addition, to protect against flying
objects, workers must have side protection. Workers must use filtered lenses
with a shade number that is appropriate for the type of work being performed.
For example, there are a number of different welding operations. Each one
requires its own minimum shade protection.