WINNER - Maintenance and Housekeeping
FM Conway identified a major risk where competent and part competent people often accessed electrical control panels to reset overloads. This put the individual at risk from electric shock and or arc flash, with the potential to kill or inflict life changing harm through serious burns. In addition to many near misses there had been a number of very serious incidents resulting in arc flash burns to both experienced and less experienced personnel.
FM Conway were also aware of a number of MPA incident alerts that highlighted isolator failures where, even though the isolator is switched in the OFF position, one or more phases had remained live due to a mechanical switch gear failure..
Applying the principles of its 'Big Ten in Ten Strategy, FM Conway looked for a solution that would eliminate human error and control the entry so that personnel could only enter the protected area when the panel is safe and electrical energy has been isolated.
They identified new technology, developed by Verisafe, which could be retro fitted, the detection devices could verify the existence or absence of a voltage. The alternative would have been to require the application of the LOTOTO process (which has an element of fallibility) or the verification of a dead circuit by a competent electrician. This would involve the panel being opened that would put the individual at risk.
The team at FM Conway combined the implementation of the Verisafe testing system but additionally linked this process to a door solenoid that only allows access to the panel when the absense of voltage has been verified.
This is an intuitive solution that accepts human error is a possibility through fatigue, slip due to operator performing a monotonous activity or a lapse in concentration.
Please see attached pdf for more information Verisafe
- The VeriSafe™ The Absence of Voltage Tester simplifies what can be a complex process involving several stages using a handheld portable tester.
- Automates the voltage verification process.
- Reduces the risk of exposure of electrical hazards for improved worker safety
- Reduces testing procedure time and complexity to improve productivity
- Supports compliance when used to verify the electrical lockout/tagout process
- Forcing function reduces possibility of human error
- Allows safe access to less experienced personnel without putting them at risk
- Designed for flexibility In multiple applications.
DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFERABILITY
This technology could be applied to all fixed plant, across all mineral product sites. It has the capacity to make a major contribution to the elimination of fatalities associated with Fatal 1- Isolation and contact with moving machinery.
This would be of particular interest to smaller operators who don’t necessarily have the in-house skills and where production could be held up waiting for appropriately skilled individuals or worse that people enter the panel who are not competent.
These small, unobtrusive items can also be fitted to local isolators on the plant that allow plant operatives with minimal training to safely carryout the try-out step rather than as above relying on control.
FM Conway carried out the pilot work at their flagship site and intend to install the system at all 6 of their asphalt plants and include in the asphalt plant standards for future builds.