Isolating (Lockout) is the use of a lock to render machinery or equipment inoperable or to isolate an energy source. The purpose is to establish 'zero energy'. This is where all sources of energy including electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, mechanical and stored energy are isolated so that they pose no danger. The purpose of zero energy and lockout is to prevent the release of an energy source that could activate moving parts on equipment or machinery.
The Protocol: Isolation and Danger Tagging has more detailed information on lockout and tagging requirements, responsibilities and procedures.
Use of a lock or locking system to render equipment or a system inoperable is required when inadvertent energising of equipment or service during maintenance, build, inspection, or repair may result in serious or fatal injuries, damage to equipment and facilities, and harm to the environment.
At times it is necessary for equipment or systems to be operating (energised) in order to troubleshoot or make fine adjustments. Working on energised equipment must only be done by people who:
- are qualified and competent to do the work
- have authorisation to perform the work
- have been provided with written safe work procedures
Facility Services must be consulted regarding the isolation of any service to any part of the University, e.g. electricity, heating or water.