OHS Code Explanation Guide

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

Section 215 Securing by a group

Subsection 215(1)

When multiple workers are involved or multiple energy-isolating devices must be secured, a group process can be used. For example, securing by a group can be used when ten workers are working on a project that requires four energy-isolating devices to be secured in order for the work to be done safely. If the employer chooses to use a group procedure, the procedure must meet the requirements of subsections 215(2) through 215(6).

Subsection 215(2)

Section 8 of the OHS Regulation requires that the procedure be in writing.

Subsection 215(3)

In this case, one worker designated by the employer (typically a supervisor or crew leader), is assigned the responsibility of placing and/or activating the energy-isolating devices. Another designated worker (or the same worker) must then

(a) place a securing device (typically a keyed padlock) on each energy-isolating device,
(b) put the key to each securing device in a lockable key-securing device (lock box, key ring, etc.),
(c) complete, sign, and post a list identifying the machinery or equipment included in the procedure, and
(d) confirm and document that all hazardous energy sources in the group lockout situation are effectively isolated.

Subsection 215(3)(d) requires that a second worker, designated by the employer, confirms that all energy sources in a group lockout situation are effectively isolated.

The purpose of subsection 215(3)(d) is to verify that all energy sources that could cause injury due to unintended motion, energizing, start-up or release of residual energy (see OHS Code definition of “hazardous energy”) are effectively isolated. Verification may be achieved by testing circuitry, attempting to cycle machinery, visual inspection, monitoring movement or discharge, observing bleeds, gauges or indicators, or other equally effective approaches. The approach used should offer the best degree of assurance that isolation has been achieved.

Documenting this step provides a record of the activity having been completed. This is not confirming that the locks were placed in the correct locations. This is making sure that placement of the locks has resulted in the energy sources being effectively isolated. Having a worker confirm that locks are physically placed in the correct location is not the same as verifying that all energy sources are effectively isolated.

Subsection 215(4)

Once effective isolation has been verified and before starting the work activity, each worker involved in the work then applies his or her own lock to the key-securing device. This ensures that the master key(s) cannot be removed from the key-securing device until each worker removes his or her personal lock. This prevents the equipment from being returned to operation until each personal lock is removed.

Subsection 215(5)

In the case where a 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 must be accomplished by 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 215(6)

Upon completing the work, each worker removes his or her lock from the key-securing device. When the last lock is removed, the worker authorized by the employer to do so then removes his or her lock from the energy-isolating device and verifies that no worker will be in danger due to removal of the lock in accordance with section 215.3.

Section 215.3(2) applies in an emergency or if the worker who attached the lock is not available when required to remove it. In this case a worker designated by the employer (typically a supervisor or crew leader) may remove the lock in accordance with a procedure that includes verifying no workers will be in danger due to removal of the lock.