Safety Culture

Safer Lockout/Tagout with Permanent Electrical Safety Devices

Permanent Electrical Safety Devices (PESD) can be used to perform safer Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures.

By Nick Schiltz

Safer Lockout Tagout PESD

Permanent Electrical Safety Devices (PESD) can be used to perform safer Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures. The details enclosed describe electrically safe working conditions based upon NFPA 70E and OSHA standards. The practicality of minimizing the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) not only reduces downtime, but increases productivity now that workers know they are inherently safe.

Article 120.1 of the NFPA 70E establishes the procedure for creating an electrically safe work condition. Since this was written, the day-to-day practice of electrical safety has changed and goes beyond the precise language of Article 120.1(1-6). This is due to the increased usage of PESD in LOTO procedures. The relatively new concept of permanent electrical safety devices actually improves the workers’ ability to safely isolate electrical energy beyond that which was originally conceived when Article 120 was written.

PESD go beyond the high standard, yet they still adhere to the core principles found in Article 120.1. With PESD incorporated into safety procedures, installed correctly into electrical enclosures, and validated before and after each use, workers can transition the once-risky endeavor of verifying voltage into a less precarious undertaking that never exposes them to voltage. Since every electrical incident has one required ingredient – voltage - electrical safety is radically improved by eliminating exposure to voltage while still validating zero energy from outside the panel.


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