Effective and efficient hazardous energy Isolation Management Systems (Lock Out and Tag Out) are essential to protect employees when working on energised plant and equipment.
Determining the correct points to be isolated and constructing the isolation permit requires personnel with significant expertise in plant operations with the ability to read and interpret drawings and determining isolation points in the field.
Organisations operating large and complex plants usually appoint Permit Coordinators, Permit to Work issuers and isolation officers to undertake this disciplined task.
Significant Isolation Management Systems issues
- Lengthy isolation permit processing and authorisation time
- Lengthy time to isolate plant and equipment
- Inadequate verification of correct isolation points
- Piping & Instrumentation Drawings and Single Line Diagrams are not up to date or do not reflect changes to plant processes
- Isolation procedures are too complex and error enforcing
- Inadequate training in isolation procedures
- Inadequate compliance auditing of the implementation of isolation procedures
- Inadequate review of the effectiveness and efficiency isolation procedures
- Poor labelling of isolation points on drawings and in the field
- Inadequate investigation of isolation incidents
- Poor understanding of stored energy sources such as pressure.
- Poor understanding of what can go wrong at initial plant (first time) energisation and loading
Integrated electronic isolation management systems and processes bring many advantages to agile companies looking for a breakthrough into the digital age with the benefits of increasing safety, reduction in maintenance costs and increasing plant availability all at the same time.
- All isolation activities are electronically recorded in real time – such as locking on and off . This enables the business to analyse time taken to conduct tasks on isolated plant.
- Isolations are much safer as electronic verification is done automatically to determine that the correct points have been de-energised and locked off and only authorised persons are locked onto and off the isolation permit.
- A vast reduction in employee queuing and administration time and a consequent increase in plant availability as Locking onto and off the lock box is done electronically – no paperwork is required.