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Thread: Lockout Tagout

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    Default Lockout Tagout

    Do you folks practice Lockout Tagout procedures at your work place, when working on RF systems. Question is, how do you folks lockout your transmitters, let's say a quantar or GTR. They are standard equipment cords (kind of, IEC C16 type).
    effective way is to prevent the socket being accessed.

    any pointers will be greatly helpful and appreciated.


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    I would have to check with my tool manager to see precisely what we have used in the past, but the devices do exist, and Brady is a recognized manufacturer of LOTO devices.

    https://www.bradyid.com/en-us/catego...outs/200050513

    Specific to your question: https://www.bradyid.com/en-us/produc...atid=wbn_50513

    LOTO keeps honest people honest. With that caveat, as a safety professional, I always support an effective LOTO program. LOTO on a quantar make not always make too much sense, especially if the RF exposure is low, but there are certainly opportunities for preventing RF over-exposure through LOTO. I guess when you think about it, there are many instances where you may not want some dumbshit to plug something back in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triptolemus View Post
    LOTO keeps honest people honest. With that caveat, as a safety professional, I always support an effective LOTO program.
    LOTO keeps stupid people from killing honest people. It forces you to think about the whole situation.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Viper1-6 View Post
    LOTO keeps stupid people from killing honest people. It forces you to think about the whole situation.


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    I agree. And my statement was a little oversimplified. Many of these low voltage loto devices can simply be pulled off with a little effort. And not much stops someone from cutting off a lock. I’ve seen both in my career, and not much prevents it except integrity, and perhaps fastidious supervision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triptolemus View Post
    I agree. And my statement was a little oversimplified. Many of these low voltage loto devices can simply be pulled off with a little effort. And not much stops someone from cutting off a lock. Ive seen both in my career, and not much prevents it except integrity, and perhaps fastidious supervision.
    In my experience in Alberta, If someone is caught trying to bypass, or defeat a LOTO, they get fired. On the spot.


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    Agreed, the LOTO is NOT for preventing stupidity or malicious act.

    I discussed the brady detachable cord plug device with our LOTO program manager, being that that is for a C15 type and the quantar is C16, one has to mill out a groove in the device and rightfully so, they are not agreeable to modifying a tested LOTO device. so, I have to keep looking. Also, I am not sure, with the orange shroud that will even fit in the quantar. I have to get one and playwith it.

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    I might be looking at this the wrong way, but if you don't want the machine powered on, slide out and remove the PS module, no?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FMROB View Post
    I might be looking at this the wrong way, but if you don't want the machine powered on, slide out and remove the PS module, no?
    Just unplugging, or removing, a component does not prevent someone from coming along and "fixing" it. Lockout/Tagout procedures ensure that only the person who locked out the component can return it to service after ensuring it is safe to do so.

    I forget the actual name at the moment but "local control" as you suggest can be used in some cases by keeping the point of energy control in sight at all times. An example of this would be working on the internals of a repeater and having the short power cord unplugged from the outlet. However, if you were say changing oil in an outside on-site generator which can be activated by a switch inside the shelter, the only way to ensure the generator will not start is to lockout that switch.

    Some of this may seem overkill to you in some applications, but for others it is absolutely essential.

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    Quote Originally Posted by box View Post
    I forget the actual name at the moment but "local control" as you suggest can be used in some cases by keeping the point of energy control in sight at all times. An example of this would be working on the internals of a repeater and having the short power cord unplugged from the outlet.
    I usually refer to it as Individual Employee Control. It's prohibited now (as of 70E 2012) for breakers, disconnects, etc. But cord and plug connected equipment is excepted.

    NFPA 70E 120.4(A)(4):

    Capture.PNG

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    Quote Originally Posted by box View Post
    Just unplugging, or removing, a component does not prevent someone from coming along and "fixing" it. Lockout/Tagout procedures ensure that only the person who locked out the component can return it to service after ensuring it is safe to do so.

    I forget the actual name at the moment but "local control" as you suggest can be used in some cases by keeping the point of energy control in sight at all times. An example of this would be working on the internals of a repeater and having the short power cord unplugged from the outlet. However, if you were say changing oil in an outside on-site generator which can be activated by a switch inside the shelter, the only way to ensure the generator will not start is to lockout that switch.

    Some of this may seem overkill to you in some applications, but for others it is absolutely essential.
    I think you are referring to "plug-and-cord", ie if you are the only one and you can unplug the cord and have it under positive control.. then no LOTO is needed. but if the Transmitters are controlled by one entity and the tower climbers are from an another org. then you get into LOTO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by triptolemus View Post
    I usually refer to it as Individual Employee Control. It's prohibited now (as of 70E 2012) for breakers, disconnects, etc. But cord and plug connected equipment is excepted.

    NFPA 70E 120.4(A)(4):

    Capture.PNG
    at a site with multiple transmitters, going into combiners + various entities having their own equipment + different climbers... one can not get away claiming plug-and-cord, due to the fact that some organization are risk averse. For example, broadcasters will throttle down their power, still KW's but a magnitude of order less. But our organizations dictates, that the climbers to be not exposed above the occupational threshold.
    so, when we tell the climbers we are shutting down a 100W GTR because they are going to climb, they look at us like are you real !... but our orders are orders.

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    Broadcasters get cranky when you switch their transmitter to the switched dummyload and unplug the remote control on it.
    Retarded Mongoloid on PCP...

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    I learned something interesting about Digital Audio Broadcast. There was a thread about a ham repeater getting hammered by desense on an FM broadcast tower. The OP said the broadcaster disabled the digital carrier on the DAB. I did some reading and found that DAB can be combined with analog FM on the SAME FREQUENCY and same antenna via a hybrid combiner. So if you want the broadcaster to shut down the transmitter you have to be pretty specific that you want BOTH DAB and FM shut down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by box View Post
    Just unplugging, or removing, a component does not prevent someone from coming along and "fixing" it. Lockout/Tagout procedures ensure that only the person who locked out the component can return it to service after ensuring it is safe to do so.

    I forget the actual name at the moment but "local control" as you suggest can be used in some cases by keeping the point of energy control in sight at all times. An example of this would be working on the internals of a repeater and having the short power cord unplugged from the outlet. However, if you were say changing oil in an outside on-site generator which can be activated by a switch inside the shelter, the only way to ensure the generator will not start is to lockout that switch.

    Some of this may seem overkill to you in some applications, but for others it is absolutely essential.
    Someone mentioned recently that they were UNDER the engine of a generator inspecting with the oil pan off when someone or something activated the starter sending the crankshaft whizzing overhead. With all this automation, you need to be sure systems are shut off and disabled at the local level.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
    Someone mentioned recently that they were UNDER the engine of a generator inspecting with the oil pan off when someone or something activated the starter sending the crankshaft whizzing overhead. With all this automation, you need to be sure systems are shut off and disabled at the local level.
    I worked with an overly annoying putz that played games with people by doing things like that. We got him gone pretty quick once his prankster side showed itself. Karma says his next job could either be a land mine tester, a whiskey taster from broken bottles, or a grain silo ladder maintainer.
    Bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay

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    Quote Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
    With all this automation, you need to be sure systems are shut off and disabled at the local level.
    Absolutely.

    My day job is engineering with large heavy duty automated paper converting machines. I am one of a handful of engineers trained to the same level as our field service technicians in machine operation, safety, and lockout/tagout. I am more oriented towards R&D within my team so I'm more often physically working on machines on our assembly floor, or even out in the field.

    Our policies specify limits of when we are allowed to be a required distance from the machinery, when we need to stop the machine and tag out, when we need to lock out the motion disconnect, or when the entire machine needs to be locked out to ensure minimal energy. Control power will generally be on all the time, except for when the entire machine is locked out, as well as mains power to the cabinets, so even when locking out the motion disconnect it can be humbling to see mostly everything still powered up, even though it is in a "safe" state.

    There are multiple levels of testing and verification early in our start-up process to ensure the machine is safe before certain operations are allowed, but sometimes you wonder. I once found a broken motion disconnect linkage on a machine in the field going from the external handle on the cabinet to the actual disconnect inside near the servo drives.

    I first noticed it as I was observing operation of the machine, which was entirely running, and saw the handle was in the down position for OFF. Very confusing few seconds at first. The indicators were confirming a not safe state, so a proper lock out procedure would have caught it, but still mildly alarming. What was worse was the country we were in is known for a lax safety attitude so the customer really wasn't concerned when it was brought to their attention.

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    I worked for a company that did industrial controls and wiring for several years. The scariest times were when I had to go into the press room to fix or check something on the 3 story tall color newpaper printing press with 6 paper rolls and several levels on enough rollers and transfer printers that shutting the entire unit day created a huge mess for the staff.

    But you do it anyway if you have to, and listen to the alarm bells and screaming from the manager. Since there were so many places where the press could be started from, locking out the solenoid cabinet sometimes didn't work because one of the operators would go to the cabinet and bypass the lockout. I resorted to using a Master padlock on the disconnect and also going outside and disconnected the feed at the transformer panel.
    Retarded Mongoloid on PCP...

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