If you work around energy sources, whether they be electrical, hydraulic, mechanical or some other source, you know that various kinds of equipment and machinery can pose extreme danger.
Workers can easily face exposure to the release of hazardous energy, which can cause severe injuries or death, and your employer may be liable.
Shutting down equipment includes disconnecting it from a power source, a common precaution before putting it into operation again. The reason for caution is that excess pressure can build up in a system, machines may still be hot from previous use and pipes can hold toxic liquids or gases that need draining. The use of multiple power sources can energize some types of machinery, so you and other workers need to be able to identify all such sources.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has established standards and regulations related to proper lockout/tagout procedures. You and other employees should receive training in specific lockout/tagout steps for any kind of equipment or machinery under your control, especially for those who are responsible for servicing and maintenance. Many injuries and fatalities occur because of the sudden release of hazardous energy due to careless mistakes in handling complex systems and heavy machinery.
Help for injuries
An employer must ensure that safety is the top priority in any manufacturing or industrial setting. Your injuries from exposure to the release of hazardous energy could range from mild shock to horrific burns, broken bones and other debilitating and life-changing medical issues.
Data gathered by OSHA indicates that of the millions of workers who service and maintain equipment and machinery in the U.S., those who sustain injuries are out of work for an average of 24 days while they recover. Workers’ compensation is available, and if you are among those who sustain injuries on the job, you should expect to receive the full benefits to which the law entitles you.