OVERBOARD LOTO Safety issues!!

Status
Not open for further replies.
Ok, Im all about safety and protecting my fellow man, but I do have one issue that I believe is going OVERBOARD. In fact I do recall another thread discussing something similar to this.

There is a foreman that is requiring that his guys lock out not just the disco for the motors, but also the mcc (motor control center) bucket. The issue I have with this is that the disco is 99% of the time within site of the motor, and it KILLS ALL power to the motor and there is NO other power source that can get to the person working on it. YES IT IS VERIFIED DEAD/NO POWER!.

The problem it creates is when the other guys is working with them they need to do work at the mcc, and YES they are working together and they know the other guy is working at the motor. But since the other guys lock is on at the mcc too, this just create extra work uneccessarily and conflict when the other guy is needing in there because he has to ask the guy to remove his lock.

It was explained to the foreman that it was uneccessary to lock it out at the mcc when the disco was locked out, because even in a WORST case scenerio and someone turned on the mcc his guy would still be protected. No power can get to him and this was the sole purpose of the DISCO!!

It's like shutting off a branch circuit breaker AND shutting off the MAIN to the panel just to do work on the branch circuit. It's completely unecessary.

And YES they do verify that the power is dead when they turn of the disco.!!

Ever hear of this practice???
 

mcclary's electrical

Senior Member
Location
VA
I've worked for several large manufacturers and they require "zero energy" LOTO. That includeds air, locked and bled off, Control Power, and 3 phase power locked out. You could not BREAK THE PLANE of the machine until all conditions are met.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
LOTO applies to all energy sources not just electricity. Would the same type of situation make sense with locking a steam valve or air valve at a piece of equipment and locking off the boiler or air compressor just to work on that particular piece of equipment.
 

mcclary's electrical

Senior Member
Location
VA
LOTO applies to all energy sources not just electricity. Would the same type of situation make sense with locking a steam valve or air valve at a piece of equipment and locking off the boiler or air compressor just to work on that particular piece of equipment.



His LOTO method did not bring the machine to a "zero energy" state. Close, but not quite
 

big john

Senior Member
Location
Portland, ME
I think it's unnecessary to lock the MCC. Is it safer? Yes. But it's sort of like putting two erasers on a pencil, if the first one works and you know it works, why do you need the second one?

But unless this is causing serious inconvenience or lost time, I wouldn't go nuts fighting it. Like the other guys said: Better too much safety than not enough.

-John
 
LOTO applies to all energy sources not just electricity. Would the same type of situation make sense with locking a steam valve or air valve at a piece of equipment and locking off the boiler or air compressor just to work on that particular piece of equipment.
I think you missed something here, your'e talking about different type of energy sources here!! . there are NO other energy sources here. The mcc only supplies the electric power. I have no problem with them locking out an air pressure valve or anything else etc..

Remember this mcc ONLY supplies electric power to the disco. I wouldn't have too much of an issue if it didn't create a conflict with the guys/workers.
 

mcclary's electrical

Senior Member
Location
VA
I think you missed something here, your'e talking about different type of energy sources here!! . there are NO other energy sources here. The mcc only supplies the electric power. I have no problem with them locking out an air pressure valve or anything else etc..

Remember this mcc ONLY supplies electric power to the disco. I wouldn't have too much of an issue if it didn't create a conflict with the guys/workers.
I did misunderstand, but there could be one other thing, if the MCC,has it's own control power xfmr, then your machine cold have some energized control power, but locked out 3 phase power.

If your control power is not an issue, then I agree with you, the redundant locks are not necassary
 
I think it's unnecessary to lock the MCC. Is it safer? Yes. But it's sort of like putting two erasers on a pencil, if the first one works and you know it works, why do you need the second one?

But unless this is causing serious inconvenience or lost time, I wouldn't go nuts fighting it. Like the other guys said: Better too much safety than not enough.

-John
Well, it IS causing a Conflict with the guys. To me this is completely uneccessary, why cause a fight over an issue that shouldn't even be an 'issue'??
 

RETRAINDAILY

Senior Member
Location
PHX, arizona
If some one is working in the mcc then you need to put your lock on it too IMO


But I get paid by the hour so I'll lock out till break as far as I am concerned.:roll:

another opinion is he should be there with you and Know why every lock is in place
 

eric9822

Senior Member
Location
Camarillo, CA
I agree. Locking out a local disconnect and the MCC is overkill if the work being done is taking place at the motor. It has been my experience that safety requirements that make no sense undermine the safety requirements that are truly necessary to provide a safe work environment.
 

eric7379

Member
Location
IL
I've worked for several large manufacturers and they require "zero energy" LOTO. That includeds air, locked and bled off, Control Power, and 3 phase power locked out. You could not BREAK THE PLANE of the machine until all conditions are met.
This is exactly what a lot of people misunderstand. They simply think that because the electrical is locked out, then it is safe. You said it best.

I think you missed something here, your'e talking about different type of energy sources here!! . there are NO other energy sources here. The mcc only supplies the electric power. I have no problem with them locking out an air pressure valve or anything else etc..

Remember this mcc ONLY supplies electric power to the disco. I wouldn't have too much of an issue if it didn't create a conflict with the guys/workers.
Two different energy sources, but the same fundamental principle. In your situation, was it truly in a "zero energy" state? Only you can answer that question.

We follow the same procedure that mcclary's electrical does (and this is the way that it needs to be done). Pneumatic, hydraulic, steam, water, it does not matter. They are all considered "energy sources".

I would lock out the local disconnect as well as the MCC (for the control power). Chances are, the disconnect would not kill the power for control wiring that might be going to the motor. Unless, in your case, you only had the 3 phase power going to the motor and nothing else, then the disconnect would kill the power to the motor. But, I would still lock out the local disconnect and the MCC. Overkill? Maybe. Does it matter to me? Not one bit.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I think you missed something here, your'e talking about different type of energy sources here!! . there are NO other energy sources here. The mcc only supplies the electric power. I have no problem with them locking out an air pressure valve or anything else etc..

Remember this mcc ONLY supplies electric power to the disco. I wouldn't have too much of an issue if it didn't create a conflict with the guys/workers.
I was just trying to give a related analogy for other sources of energy. Like your situation, if the motor disconnect shuts off all sources of energy to work on a piece of equipment why should you need to lock off the remotely located controller if you are not working on it also?

Similar analogy is if you had air on piece of equipent and a valve at the equipment to disconnect it from air supply locking this valve should make it safe to work on. Turning off another upstream valve or the compressor and locking it is like your situation of needing to lock the controller, not necessary if the machine to be worked on has no energy source that can be turned on without removing a lock.

In your situation if others are working on MCC they should have their lock on what affects them.
 

richxtlc

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
I agree. Locking out a local disconnect and the MCC is overkill if the work being done is taking place at the motor. It has been my experience that safety requirements that make no sense undermine the safety requirements that are truly necessary to provide a safe work environment.
I agree and so does OSHA (see below), but if that is the safety policy of your company, then there is no argrument. You must do what the rules state for safety whether or not you agree with them. OSHA allows you to make their rules more strict.

Energy control procedure.

1910.147(c)(4)(i)
Procedures shall be developed, documented and utilized for the control of potentially hazardous energy when employees are engaged in the activities covered by this section.

Note: Exception: The employer need not document the required procedure for a particular machine or equipment, when all of the following elements exist: (1) The machine or equipment has no potential for stored or residual energy or reaccumulation of stored energy after shut down which could endanger employees; (2) the machine or equipment has a single energy source which can be readily identified and isolated; (3) the isolation and locking out of that energy source will completely deenergize and deactivate the machine or equipment; (4) the machine or equipment is isolated from that energy source and locked out during servicing or maintenance; (5) a single lockout device will achieve a locker-out condition; (6) the lockout device is under the exclusive control of the authorized employee performing the servicing or maintenance; (7) the servicing or maintenance does not create hazards for other employees; and (8) the employer, in utilizing this exception, has had no accidents involving the unexpected activation or reenergization of the machine or equipment during servicing or maintenance.
 

zog

Senior Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
There is a foreman that is requiring that his guys lock out not just the disco for the motors, but also the mcc (motor control center) bucket.
Ever hear of this practice???
Is this foreman an ex-utility guy? 2 isolation points for electrical LOTO is commonplace for utility guys.
 

mcclary's electrical

Senior Member
Location
VA
YOu have not answered my question yet. Does the MCC have it's own control power xfmr inside? If it does, then he's right. You're working on a motor that has it's disconnect LOTO. Along comes anothe guy who needs to work on the Mcc. He pulls the disco for the MCC. This kills control power, causing any detent single solenoid valve that was energized by the control power, to change states. Down comes a conveyor (by gravity) that had hydraulic cylinders holding it up. Control power is dangerous too
 

richxtlc

Senior Member
Location
Tampa Florida
Is this foreman an ex-utility guy? 2 isolation points for electrical LOTO is commonplace for utility guys.
The practice was 2 breaks or a single break and a ground (preferred) for high voltage circuits. For low voltage circuit a locked a tagged disconnect or controller were ok. Control circuit fuses were removed and tagged. All this was normal practice long before LOTO was a dream in the commercial, industrial and residential world.
 

iwire

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Massachusetts
Well, it IS causing a Conflict with the guys. To me this is completely uneccessary, why cause a fight over an issue that shouldn't even be an 'issue'??
What is there to 'fight' about, everyone just follows the company policy and gets on with their lives.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top