Hazardous Energy in Confined Space Operations Must be Controlled

Workers in confined spaces can be at risk of hazardous energy, and everyone must be familiar with all identified energy sources and the way they are controlled.

Workers in confined spaces can be at risk of hazardous energy, and everyone must be familiar with all identified energy sources and the way they are controlled. The September issue of Utility Products brings you two great feature articles, one of which is “Incorporating the Control of Hazardous Energy Into Confined Spaces,” by Todd Grover with Applied Safety Solutions at Master Lock. In a typical hazardous energy-related accident, one worker might not see their coworker at risk while working on machinery and reactivate equipment-resulting in injury or death. With proper lockout, accidents can help be prevented. Grover discusses how confined space entry permits should itemize all known energy sources, and how they are controlled, or refer to the lockout procedure applicable to the equipment or processes within the space. To keep workers safe in confined spaces, it’s vital to isolate each form of energy that could be present.

And “Updating an Equipotential Zone With the Correct Grounding System” provides a question and answer session with Alex Rabinovitch of Newpark Mats and Integrated Services. Rabinovitch discusses how updating equipotential zones can benefit workers and overall operations: methods used to create equipotential zones, challenges that makeshift solutions present, demands and solutions for power-utility grounding and bonding solutions, and more.

This issue also brings you several informative product focus articles. In “FR Protection 101: A Guide to Flame-resistant Clothing for the Utilities Industry,” Mark Saner addresses the importance of employees wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) in the event of arc flash and flash fires. Saner discusses the role of flame-resistant workwear, OSHA requirements, proper FR protection, and the importance of comfort.

Don Wilson’s article, “All That Power-Where Does it Come From and how Does it get There?,” outlines what power means to different people-with the focus on inverters for vehicles and tools. “With inverters, the important factors are almost exclusively dependent on intended use and installation-and like the truck or tool, under sizing or inefficient use of an inverter makes it unusable or expensive to make it work correctly,” Wilson reports.

And “Expeditious Circuit Replacement on Busy City Streets Keeps 18,000 Residents Online,” from Kerite, a division of Marmon Utilities, offers a look into how the company designed a safe solution for a city and executed it in less than two months. The backup to a main circuit that feeds power to more than 18,000 residents failed. The failure in the redundant circuit, which was under the busy streets, required an immediate long-term solution. The article outlines how Kerite provided a solution and completed the restoration project in six weeks, one month less than the utility originally expected.

John Tabor
Associate Editor
johnt@pennwell.com

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