Monday, December 16, 2013

Low Hanging Fruit - Electrical Disconnects



One of the most common but simple hazards we see in many facilities is the use of old electrical disconnects which do not facilitate a proper machine lockout procedures. Some of the very old ones are not lockable at all. This means that either the machine is not being locked out during cleaning, set up and maintenance activities or it is only being locked out by electricians at the main electrical panel. The majority of the incorrect ones that we see are designed to accept a lock, however, they are able to be locked in BOTH the “on” and “off” positions. While these do allow for an easy lockout point for operators and maintenance, they open up the possibility for the machine to be locked out incorrectly. It may seem unlikely that someone would lockout a machine with the power on, but it is more common than you may think. Legislation has been developed to protect workers because these incidents were occurring. It may happen to a young or inexperienced worker because they haven’t received proper training or it could also happen to experienced workers who just have a lapse in concentration. Either way, it is a simple fix. Take a walk around your facility and replace any disconnects which are not lockable in the “off” position ONLY.


Here are some examples:

This one is lockable in both the on and off positions.

  Electrical Disconnect


These are only lockable in the off position only:

  Electrical Disconnect


Posted by Kristin Petaski at 10:18 AM 0 Comments
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