Lockout of mobile machines

by Apr 3, 2019Lockout

Did you know that mobile equipment is subject to the same regulatory requirements as any other type of equipment or industrial machine where lockout is concerned? Articles 188.1 to 188.13 of RROHS apply to all “machines”. This means, among other things, that mobile equipment should be included in your lockout program and that a lockout procedure (lockout card) should be available for each device. The inclusion of mobile equipment is also provided for in standards such as CSA Z460-13.

4 deaths per year

An IRSST study showed that 56 fatal accidents occurred from 2000 to 2013, more than 4 deaths per year on mobile equipment. The 3 main types of accidents (equipment falling from an elevated position, moving parts and mobile equipment in motion) could have been avoided by applying an energy control method.

The method must be adapted to the realities of mobile equipment

In general, the principles of lockout apply in the same way: among other things, the use of an individually keyed personal lock, the affixing of a label, the signaling of work, the control of residual energies and the start-up test.

However, the context in which mobile equipment is used is totally different from that of stationary industrial machines whose environment is controlled and remains unchanged. Mobile machines, on the other hand, are often used outdoors in an uncontrolled and changing environment. In addition, maintenance staff is not necessarily on site, which implies delays either to bring the staff in or to move the equipment to the repair shop. There are onsite interventions made by operators themselves with methods that are sometimes improvised due to lack of time or equipment.

A list of energy control steps adapted to mobile equipment has been developed by the IRSST. The steps take into account, for example, that the terrain may be rough, that the equipment may move or that it may be necessary to keep some elements at a height.

Chocks and battery disconnect switches

Locking out a mobile machine will require chocking the parts of the equipment that are subjected to gravity, including the vehicle itself, and isolating electrical energy. To control electrical energy, it is necessary to control it at the source, that is to say the battery itself (e.g. lockable battery switch). Condemning the ignition key only acts on the control circuit and therefore does not constitute a proper lockout method. As part of the implementation of lockout for mobile equipment, you may need to provide for the installation of lockable battery switches, which can be expensive depending on the size of the equipment fleet. Also, the presence of a lockable battery switches should be required for the purchase of a new machine in order to facilitate the implementation and application of the mobile equipment lockout.



References :

  • Règlement sur la santé et la sécurité du travail du Québec, RLRQ, c. S-2.1, r. 13.
  • Association canadienne de normalisation. (2013). Maîtrise des énergies dangereuses : cadenassage et autres méthodes. Norme CSA Z460-13. Toronto : Association canadienne de normalisation.
  • Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST). (2017) Implantation du cadenassage des équipements mobiles dans le secteur municipal – Étude exploratoire. IRSST, Rapport scientifique R-975, Montréal.
  • Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST). (2018) Sécurité des machines – Démarche de contrôle des énergies – Cadenassage et autres méthodes – Équipements mobiles. IRSST, guide RG-1034, Montréal.

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Intervention Prévention concentrates its operations in the field of work safety, offering specialized services following Standards CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety, CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy: Lock-out and Other Methods, and CSA Z432 – Safeguarding of Machinery.


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