Alternative De-Energization Procedures – Why the change from Alternative Protective Measures?

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ESC Services ADP - Alternative De-Energization Procedures ADPs cover the full range of de-energization strategies to help provide an alternative to a full lockout, whereas APMs tended to lean more heavily on controls based documentation."

Alternative Protective Measure Procedures (APMs) by ESC have been rebranded as Alternative De-Energization Procedures (ADPs). The offering itself has also been updated to reflect a more robust program designed to verify all ADPs have removed the additional risk of potential harm to employees when not performing a full machine lockout/tagout. ADPs cover the full range of de-energization strategies to help provide an alternative to a full lockout, whereas APMs tended to lean more heavily on controls based documentation.

ADPs may utilize select machine isolation points or alternative protection components and controls on the machinery to remove the hazards in the ADP machine protection zone. ADPs are both task and machine zone specific by limiting employees to performing specified tasks in a specified area of the machine only. By limiting both the area and the tasks to be performed, it is possible to remove all of the machine hazards for those tasks without having to remove all of the energy from the entire machine. This leads to a more efficient servicing process as long as it is as effectively safe as lockout/tagout.

How does the process work?

The new offering provides options for ADPs utilizing both select isolation points and controls. Each path starts with an ADP assessment. The assessment involves evaluating the machine zones the customer would like to develop ADPs for and identifying the tasks to be performed within those zones. Next, they will determine whether the tasks will be isolation point based ADPs or controls based ADPs. ROI calculations will then be performed to help make decisions about the next steps in the ADP process.

Select isolation points could be closing and locking a pneumatic valve for pneumatically driven hazards, turning off an electrical disconnect for a motor, or any other isolation point that would be used for a full lockout/tagout. Controls and alternative protection components could be interlocked gates, machine stops, request to enter devices, light curtains – all of the safety devices already installed on many machines.

After the assessment there will be two paths available for ADP development. The path of isolation point based ADPs can be developed directly after the assessment and implemented more quickly. The path of controls based ADPs is more involved and takes some additional analysis before they can be developed and implemented. The added analysis is to confirm the alternative protection components and controls on the equipment are designed and installed to provide the proper safety and performance levels required based on the hazards of the machine. The additional analysis also helps verify the machine is performing at optimal safety levels while minimizing the impact on production.

Interested in learning more? Contact ESC to see how ADPs can help minimize downtime when performing minor servicing tasks.

About Lisa Kilgas
Lisa Kilgas is Business Development Manager for ESC Services, a Rockwell Automation business. She was previously a mechanical engineer for ESC Services where she managed dozens of lockout/tagout implementation projects for many large companies. She has been at the forefront of the development of the alternative de-energization procedure offering to help companies find more efficient and safe ways to avoid a full machine lockout/tagout for minor servicing operations. She has experience working in many different industries including manufacturing, food processing, chemical, aerospace, and biomedical.