1. Failure to stop equipment. This may seem common sense, it actually isn’t, due to some employee attitudes towards OH&S. Some workers value productivity above safety, a good attitude if safety is under check, but not in this case. Others feel that their age or long experience with the equipment lets them work on it without checking and ensuring equipment is properly safeguarded. Either attitude can lead to injury, possibly even death.
2. Failure to disconnect from the power source. With electrical equipment, some workers feel that simply operating the on/off switch is all it takes to be safe. They don’t think that the switch may be defective or that a surge of power could find its way through a short circuit or other source until they are shocked to learn that it can.
3. Failure to drain residual energy. Ask workers why TV sets carry a warning about trying to open the case even if the device is disconnected. You know, and they should, that it’ss because many electrical devices store power in a capacitor or battery. Even with the plug out, the risk of shock remains. Employees need to expand that concept to other kinds of devices.
A compressed spring, a hot pipe, a pressurized tank, or even a heavy object hanging overhead also represent energy that continues to exist, even when the initial source of that energy is disconnected. All forms of stored energy must be completely blocked or released to be safe.
4. Accidental restart of machinery. Even if one employee knows to shut down equipment before working on it, others may not. The incidence of unknowing workers causing injury to their fellow workers by restarting machines being worked on is quite high.
5. Failure to clear work areas before restarting. Restarting machinery must be handled with as much care as shutting it down and locking it out. A repair tool left in the works to fly out, or a restart while a co-worker remains in the path of danger, represent as great a hazard as not locking out the machine at all.