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Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) for Cord and Plug Equipment

workers performing maintenance on plug and cord machine lockout/tagout

Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) for Cord and Plug Equipment

When it comes to safety in the workplace, it is up to every employee to take every possible precaution to ensure it. One of the most important policies to adhere to is to perform lockout/tagout procedures when conducting maintenance on a cord or plug machine. However, there are times when the lockout process is not required for all equipment.

Unplug the Risk

As its name would suggest, the cord and plug exception applies only to equipment that relies solely upon electrical energy acquired through a cord. In simple terms, if unplugging a machine guarantees that it will not be able to gain energy, lockout is not required. These are typically smaller machines such as portable power tools.

The cord and plug exception also has a strict requirement that the employee performing maintenance must be in sole control of the plug and, therefore, the ability for the piece of equipment to be activated. As such, the employee should not only be the one unplugging the device but must also be able to see the plug at all times in order to ensure that another employee does not accidentally reconnect it to a power source.

Never Make an Exception for Safety

Even though the cord and plug exception does exist and might provide convenience, conducting a regular lockout procedure on a machine may still be the right choice. Employees should always take the necessary steps to ensure safety. If you are planning to perform maintenance on equipment without lockout, be certain that the device’s only source of hazardous energy is electricity fed through a cord and plug. Larger equipment is typically hardwired and powered by multiple sources.

If you are ever uncertain about when the cord and plug exception might apply or have other questions about lockout and the control of hazardous energy, do not hesitate to speak with your supervisor.

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