Line of Fire: Energy Control Devices Safety

Line of Fire: Energy Control Devices

  • Any time we open or close various types of energy control devices, such as electrical disconnect or a valve in a pressurized system, there is a potential hazard that must be considered
  • When an energized electrical switch is opened or closed, there is the potential for some type of electrical arc flash to occur
  • This is why qualified electricians are trained to stand to the side when performing this function so they are not in the line of fire of an arc flash
  • Similarly, when opening valves that may be under pressure, also stand to the side so you are not exposed to a high pressure release
  • Standing to the side when opening switches and valves is a good practice that can keep you out of harm’s way

Automated Equipment

  • Understand that many machines and processes start automatically without regard for anyone who happens to be in the way
  • For example, air compressors start automatically when the pressure in the storage tank drops too far
  • This is why we must be aware of the potential movements of automated equipment and take precautions not to place ourselves in the path of travel