An electrical lockout is absolutely essential for isolating hazardous sources of energy and preventing them from causing further damage. A standard electrical lockout procedure is the set of steps that need to be followed in order to put an electrical lockout in place safely and efficiently. Once activated, an electrical lockout procedure will shut down any electrical hazards, thus reducing and eliminating the risk of fire, power surges, shortages and damage to equipment. Below, you will find all that you need to know about standard electrical lockout procedures.
Brief Definition of an Electrical Lockout
An electrical lockout will usually involve shutting down electricity to a particular part of a system. Ideally, the effect of implementing a standard electrical lockout procedure will be to switch off power to the affected area and not to the whole system.
Standard Procedure for Electrical Lockouts
In order to meet safety standards, all electrical equipment should, as a matter of course, be fitted with switches or tabs to be used in the event of an electrical lockout. The requirements for these fittings varies a little from country to country and also depending on whether a piece of equipment is for industrial, commercial or private use. However, the first thing to know when activating a standard electrical lockout procedure is the location of these switches or tabs.
The first step in a standard electrical lockout procedure is usually the detection of a hazard. Ideally, this will then set off an alert in the form of an alarm, light or both which lets personnel nearby known that the standard electrical lockout procedure needs to be implemented in order to contain the hazard that has just been detected.
The next step in the standard electrical lockout procedure is to isolate the hazard by shutting off its supply of electricity. This can be done by flicking the relevant switches, punching in a key code, pulling a tab or a similar activity. In many modern systems, disruptions to the rest of the system are prevented by the fact that a supplementary circuit kicks in and re-routes the electricity supply so as to bypass the area that has been locked down. In this way, the rest of the system can keep on running smoothly.
Finally, no standard electrical lockout procedure would be complete without attending to the original hazard. Of course, it must first be ascertained that the hazardous area has been made safe and that any personnel attending to this hazard will not be at risk of electric shocks or other dangers. Fire extinguishing equipment should be used where necessary if the hazard is particularly severe. The ultimate aim of a standard electrical lockout procedure is to fix any hazards as quickly as possible. Very often, this will simply involve replacing a fuse or rewiring a burnt out circuit and the whole system will then be up and running as quickly as can be.
Can the Standard Electrical Lockout Procedure be Automated?
Yes, the standard electrical lockout procedure can be automated, and many companies choose to do so. It can be arranged so that when a hazard is detected, the system will automatically lock it down instead of someone having to come and lock down the electricity supply in the affected area manually. Automating the standard electrical lockout procedure in this way can make the lockout process swifter and more efficient. However, it is always essential that hazards are then checked out manually by a trained electrical engineer or other qualified professional. The electricity supply to the affected area should not be restarted again until this has occurred.
Ensure that you have a Standard Electrical Lockout Procedure Ready for all your Appliances
As is evident from the discussion above, a standard electrical lockout procedure is an essential part of using any kind of electrical system. So, why not take this opportunity to familiarize yourself with your standard electrical lockout procedure. or to put such a procedure in place where necessary? That way, when hazards do arise, you will be able to deal with them as effectively as can be and minimize the damage to your system.