Management of Hazardous Energy: Deactivation, De-Energization, Isolation, and Lockout

Energy is a highly intangible ‘something’ with which we are all familiar. Energy is intrinsic to certain objects, and can be transferred to them and from them to others, and makes things happen. Energy contained in some materials and systems is ‘stable’ and resists release, while in others is unstable and is released with minimal disturbance.

The harnessing of energy from energy sources and materials containing energy is intrinsic to activity that occurs in all societies, regardless of their state of development. Misuse and inappropriate use of energy sources and materials containing energy have caused countless injuries and deaths.

Hazardous energy is the level of energy that is likely to cause injury during a short period of time. Hazardous energy includes energies generated by physical, chemical, nuclear, mechanical, and other processes.

Starting from an examination of hundreds of accident summaries, this book extracts the lessons that they provide, explains the effects of hazardous energy on humans, and discusses the critical role of human factors, including limitations of information processing and sensory overload, on the safe performance of work. This book then explains how equipment, machines and systems operate and are controlled and develops the logic for assessing and managing hazardous energy during production, and in standby and shutdown mode. Simple, logical, practical procedures for deactivation, de-energization, isolation, and lockout are essential for ensuring worker safety and achieving regulatory compliance. The book applies these concepts to different systems, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic and vacuum, process liquids and gases, and flowable solid materials, in which hazardous energy is present.