Hazardous Energy Control Procedures (HECP)
Hazardous Energy Control Procedures, or HECP, are also called Lockout Procedures or in the US, Lockout/Tagout. HECP is one of the administrative control measures falling in the fourth level of the Risk Reduction Hierarchy, after Elimination/Substitution, Engineering Controls and Information for Use.
Eliminating energy related hazards by blocking or isolating the source of energy is one of the most basic means of risk reduction for personnel involved in maintaining and servicing equipment.
Regulations and Standards
In Canada, most of the Provinces and Territories have legislation that requires that hazards be "blocked" or prevented from moving by some effective means when workers are required to enter the danger zone. Up until recently, there was no clear guidance on how this should be done, and many employers referenced the US OSHA regulations and ANSI standards on the subject.
In 2005, CSA published CSA Z460, Control of Hazardous Energy - Lockout and Other Methods. This standard provides the guidance that employers and machine builders require on lockout. Note that the use of tags alone (tagout) is not explicitly prevented in Canada, but it is not generally considered to be adequate protection in most situations.
In the USA, OSHA has long published requirements for Lockout/Tagout, 29 CFR 1910.147. This standard was supplemented by ANSI when they published ANSI Z244.1, Control of Hazardous Energy - Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods.
The EU does not have a standard that is directly equivalent to CSA Z460 0r ANSI Z244.1. CEN published standard EN 1037, Safety of machinery — Prevention of unexpected start-up, in 1995 and have since amended it with Amendment A1 in 2008. This standard has a similar scope and content to ISO 14118 (see below), but stays with the machine design aspects of hazardous energy control, making no references to the procedural aspects of hazardous energy control.
It's also worth noting that the use of the control system for preventing unexpected start-up of the machinery is anticipated under this standard. Section 6 of the standard deals specifically with this aspect. This is generally not permitted under the North American standards.
ISO 14118, Safety of machinery — Prevention of unexpected start-up, is the international standard dealing with hazardous energy control. It goes beyond the Canadian and US standards to deal with failures in the control systems of machinery as well. These requirements may extend to operating modes or conditions beyond what is normally considered to be the bounds of the usual LOTO or HECP.
This standard also anticipates the use of the control system for prevention of unexpected start-up, a condition which is generally not permitted under the North American standards.
How can we help?
We provide you with everything from an audit of an existing lockout procedure, through full turn-key development of an HEC policy and procedures for specific machines.