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LOTO devices according to the source of the energy to be dissipated

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LOTO devices according to the source of the energy to be dissipated

When people think of energy, the vast majority probably think of electricity. Although electrical energy can be extremely dangerous, the release of many other types of energy can also cause accidents and injuries. The purpose of the lockout tagout procedure is to prevent injury or death resulting from a sudden release of energy.

   1. LOTO for electricity:
When designing the lockout/tagout procedure for electricity, consider all possible sources. Most machines get their electrical power through some kind of circuit breaker. A LOTO breaker lockout can be placed on the breaker to prevent electrical power from flowing into the machine. In cases where it is not feasible to exclude the circuit breaker because one circuit breaker operates several machines or the circuit breaker is not accessible, a push-button operated machine may be equipped with a start button exclusion.

    2. LOTO for mechanical energy:
When planning a lockout/tagout system, it is often overlooked that mechanical energy is generated by the movement of an object. If a worker is carrying out maintenance on a machine and accidentally bumps into a moving part, it can build up enough momentum to become dangerous. It is recommended that LOTO exclusion devices be placed on things such as robotic arms, moving saw blades, crushing parts, or anything that could move unexpectedly and cause injury from the movement. For securing most of these things, cable exclusion devices are the way to go.

    3. LOTO for hydraulic energy:
Hydraulic power is very common in manufacturing, thanks to its efficiency in heavy machinery. LOTO hydraulic energy isolation devices are used in hydraulic equipment to prevent the release of pressurized hydraulic oil while someone is working on the equipment. Sometimes hydraulic oil is pressurized by electrical brakes that are turned off when the power is turned off. Part of the LOTO procedure for hydraulics is to check that the energy has been released before work is started on the machine.

    4. LOTO for pneumatic energy:
As with hydraulic energy, pneumatic energy is generated using air under pressure instead of fluid. When a machine or piece of equipment uses stored pneumatic energy, part of the lockout tagout procedure is to release the accumulated pressure before maintenance is performed.

    5. LOTO for chemical energy:
Chemical reactions can release energy, for example when chemicals are mixed, or when there is a sudden change in the temperature or pressure of a chemical. Burning petrol in an internal combustion engine is one of the most common types of chemical energy. Exclusion/labelling procedures for chemical energy may include the removal and exclusion of a generator as a back-up energy source.

    6. LOTO for thermal energy:
Thanks to modern machinery, thermal energy is rarely encountered nowadays, but it is important to be aware of the potential for this type of hazard when designing and applying exclusions.