Thermal energy is one of the many forms of unlockable energy that poses a threat to employees performing servicing or maintenance operations. In most cases, thermal energy is a danger that is not visible and unprepared workers can sustain major injuries from high or low temperature sources including first, second, and third degree burns or even frostbite. Some common sources of thermal energy include ovens, boilers, and heating loops in air handlers. However, thermal energy can exist in many more pieces of equipment. With the proper training and a focus on safety, employers can ensure that employees are aware of the potential for thermal energy while performing maintenance or servicing operations and are properly prepared to handle or dissipate the energy.
A few examples of uncommon equipment where thermal energy is easily missed are:
- Air Compressors
- Air Dryers
- AC Condenser Units
- HVAC Units
- Hydraulic Units
- Reactor Tanks
Proper training can help employees recognize the signs that thermal energy might exist before they incur injuries. In general, equipment with fast moving parts have a high potential to store residual thermal energy through friction.
ESC Services is a global leader in providing lockout/tagout services to businesses in a wide range of industries across the world. To learn more about how ESC can help your company identify thermal energy sources and improve your lockout/tagout program, please contact us.