OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 15 Managing the Control of Hazardous Energy

Section 214 Securing by individual workers

Subsection 214(1)

If an employer chooses this option for securing an energy-isolating device, each worker involved must attach his or her own personal lockable securing device, typically a keyed padlock, to the energy-isolating device.

Subsection 214(2)

A worker who has placed a lock is also responsible for verifying that the energy source has been effectively isolated.

Subsection 214(3)

In the case where more than one worker is working at the same isolation point, each worker must attach his or her own personal lockable securing device, typically a keyed padlock, to the energy-isolating device. The first worker to do so must then verify, on behalf of all workers, that the energy source has been effectively isolated.

Subsection 214(4)

When using personal locks and in the case where the worker is reassigned before the work is completed, or the work is extended from one shift to another, continuity of hazardous energy control must be maintained. This can be accomplished by

(a) another worker, authorized by the employer (typically a supervisor or crew leader), placing his or her lock prior to the first worker removing his or her lock, or
(b) ensuring that there is an effective transfer of control of the initial worker’s lock to another worker who is typically designated by the employer for this purpose.

Subsection 214(5)

A personal lock must be traceable back to the worker who owns it and installs it. This is important when locks need to be removed and can serve as a check on the whereabouts of workers, particularly when many workers are involved and there are many pieces of equipment.

Locks can be made traceable in at least two ways:

(a) they can bear a marking unique to each worker e.g. engraved name, identification code, colour code, symbol code, etc., or
(b) incorporate an identification tag that identifies the worker to whom the lock is assigned. If this method is used, the tag must be secured to the lock in such a way that the tag cannot fall off.

Subsection 214(6)

It is not uncommon for personal locks to have engraved into them an identification code consisting of a combination of letters and numbers rather than the name of the worker to whom the lock is assigned. To provide traceability back to the lock owner, the employer must ensure that the worker’s name is readily available throughout the period of time that the lock is used. If a lock or locks must be removed, the employer must be able to readily determine to whom the lock has been assigned.

Subsection 214(7)

Removing a lock usually means that work is completed and the machinery, equipment, or powered mobile equipment is ready to be returned to operation. A lock should not be removed until this is the case. In some situations, removing the lock may create a dangerous situation for workers.

When an energy-isolating device is secured with more than one personal lock, the final lock being removed is the most critical. The removal of this lock means that energy may no longer be isolated and that the unit is ready to be returned to service. Although each worker removing his or her lock can “ensure that no worker will be in danger if [the lock] is removed”, it is only the worker removing the final lock that really needs to do this. A situation worth noting in which keeping the final lock in place may be particularly important is during a shift or personnel change.

Maintaining continuity of energy control may mean that the final lock is not removed until the shift or personnel change is completed. If removal of the final lock may endanger workers during a shift or personnel change, then the final lock must not be removed until it is safe to do so.