OHS Code Explanation Guide

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

Section 213 Verifying isolation

Before working on the machinery, equipment, or powered mobile equipment that has been de-energized (and energy points isolated and secured) or rendered inoperative, a worker must verify that it is, in fact, inoperative. This is often referred to as a “bump” test. The worker must try to activate the machinery, equipment, or powered mobile equipment to make sure that it doesn’t operate – this usually involves activating the control switches and then listening to and watching the equipment.

In group lockout situations, a foreman, supervisor, or operator may perform the “bump” test on everyone’s behalf. Workers must be satisfied that the machinery, equipment, or powered mobile equipment will not operate. A worker should refuse to work on the equipment until the test is done and the worker is sure that it is safe to proceed with the work. In rare cases, energy-isolating devices have been found to be defective, allowing start-up of the supposedly de-energized unit. Where such a problem is identified, and unless another energy-isolating device can be secured to truly isolate the equipment, the original, defective energy-isolating device(s) must be repaired or replaced before any work on the equipment is performed.