Don’t get behind on the newest updates for health and safety in your workplace. We’ve compiled the essentials to help ensure your business is in line with the latest OHS and CSA standards. Make sure to stay ahead and keep your workplace compliant with Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety codes.
There have been several language updates to OHS clarifying the terms of responsibility in the handling and safety of hazardous energy. There are a number of different forms of energy that are considered hazardous, including chemical, electrical, hydraulic, mechanical, nuclear, thermal, gravitational or any other form of energy that may cause injury during the machine’s operation or start-up due to unintended motion.
Safe Handling of Hazardous Energy
When dealing with the safe handling of hazardous energy and the locking of energy-isolating devices, new legislation has been enacted to clarify that the responsibility will fall on the employer. Previous OHS terminology only designated that a “supervisor” was responsible for these processes.
Employers are now responsible for providing locks to employees and must follow through by recording the details of the employee assigned to said lock and maintaining reports of these details.
It is also the employer’s responsibility, and not a “designated employee” to ensure proper protocol is followed in line with OHS standards when hazardous energy and energy isolating machinery is “made safe” or “made inoperative.” This includes:
- Considering the size and complexity of the machines
- How accessible or inaccessible machines are
- How many team members are needed to work the machine
- How many isolating devices are involved
- The complete time, start to finish, for that isolation.
- Taking consideration the coordinating relationship between all the components being isolated
- Any other reason that an employer can think of to keep workers safe
Above all it is imperative that these processes and procedures be approved by a professional engineer to ensure safety and efficiency.
In addition to this clarifying language, employees working on pipeline jobs conducting maintenance using pipeline inspection gauges, or who are involved in “pigging” are instructed to not be placed in physical positions of danger during such operations.
These amendments were enacted March, 31 2023. If your business needs more details, be sure to check out the OHS Contact Center to get more information on how these changes affect your business.
Occupational health and safety (OHS). (n.d.). Alberta.ca. https://alberta.ca/ohs
Products, A. P. (2019, August 6). Why Do We Need Pipeline Pigs? – Apache Pipeline Products. Apache Pipeline Products. https://www.apachepipe.com/news/why-do-we-need-pipeline-pigs/#:~:text=Early%20pigs%20were%20made%20from,or%20%E2%80%9CPipeline%20Intervention%20Gauge%E2%80%9D.