Cord and Plug Hazardous Energy Control

June 2017

“Cord and Plug” Hazardous Energy Control

Energy sources including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal or other sources in machines and equipment can be hazardous to workers. The unexpected startup or release of stored energy during the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment can cause injury. There is a lock-out/tag-out (LOTO) exemption for servicing and maintenance activities on “cord and plug” equipment such as reconfiguring gas lines, vacuum tubing, or adjusting valves. Cord and plug equipment refers to equipment that uses a single flexible cord and plug to connect to a source of electrical energy. Personnel working under the cord and plug exemption are not required to be LOTO Authorized Persons. Cord and plug procedures are found in PUB-3000 Chapter 18 “Lockout/Tag-out Program”, Work Process C: Cord-and-Plug Procedure

Important Note: Persons that perform work on electrical equipment may need to be Qualified Electrical Workers (QEW). See the flow chart below for what is considered “electrical work”.

Cord and plug equipment is exempt from LOTO controls when:

  1. There is a single energy source.
  2. Unplugging the equipment controls all hazardous energy.
  3. There is no stored energy such as capacitors 100 volts or greater and 10 Joules or greater.
  4. The plug remains under the continuous and exclusive control of the person performing the work at all times.
    • Positive Control- This requires the plug to be within arms reach of the worker.
    • Exclusive Control- This requires that the worker can prevent (exclude) other individuals from re-energizing the equipment while performing the servicing or maintenance activity.

If the above conditions cannot be met, then the LOTO process must be followed. This includes completion of EHS0370 “LOTO Authorized Persons Training” and application of an approved LOTO control device, lock and tag.

If you have any questions about this exemption, please contact the ETA Safety Manager, Ron Scholtz at (510) 495-8137 for assistance.