In order to better serve you while concerns over COVID-19 continue we are happy to conduct consultations by phone. Documents can also be reviewed and signed electronically. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.
Kaplan & Kaplan Counsellors at Law

Free Consultations | No Recovery, No Fee 973-988-1101

Se habla español

Lockout/Tagout: Protecting workers who deal with hazardous energy

Any machine that harnesses energy, from hydraulics to electrical equipment, poses a significant risk to workers who perform maintenance on it. Failure to effectively shut down a piece of equipment prior to maintenance can result in severe injuries, or even death. Employers across many industries must follow federal regulations for disabling machinery and equipment to prevent such injuries.

Today, we cover the basics of hazardous energy, the damage it can do, and how workers can protect themselves.

What is “hazardous energy?”

Energy sources for machinery can be unpredictable. Workers performing maintenance on a pipe system can suddenly encounter an automatic steam valve. An electrical system can short, subjecting a worker to electric shock. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) refers to these risks as “hazardous energy.”

Sudden releases of stored energy can lead to serious injuries, including:

  • Burns
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Electrocution
  • Amputations

Workers have also been crushed by equipment that unexpectedly starts up.

Lockout/Tagout systems

Those who perform routine service on machines rely on systems that “lockout” hazardous energy. OSHA’s standards for control of hazardous energy provide the federal rules for lockout/tagout procedures. Under the lockout/tagout rules, employers must establish programs and procedures to disable machines and prevent “unexpected energization, start up or release of stored energy.”

These rules apply in situations where a worker:

  • Must remove or bypass a safety device to perform maintenance
  • Is required to place any part of their body on the piece of machinery

Safety procedures include energy isolating devices, which physically prevent the transmission of energy. For example, a manually operated circuit breaker would aid in preventing sudden electrical surges.

Injured workers have options

Someone who has sustained an injury due to hazardous energy can benefit from consulting with an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation and personal injury. Whether the injury stemmed from a failure in lockout/tagout procedures or lack thereof, you do not have to recover alone.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Don’t Wait | Schedule Your Free Consult

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

  • Clients' Choice Award 2019
  • Avvo Clients choice 2018 | Workers Compensation
  • Avvo Rating | Excellent | Featured Attorney Workers Compensation

Wayne Office
500 Valley Road
Wayne, NJ 07470

Toll Free: 800-724-5346
Phone: 973-988-1101
Fax: 973-694-8191
Wayne Law Office Map

Hackensack Office
Court Plaza South, West Wing
21 Main Street, Suite 171
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Map & Directions