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Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009

Profiles In Safety: Lock Out-Tag Out Saves Lives, Money

Suzanne BakerSuzanne Baker oversees MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (positron emissions tomography) data collection and quality assurance at the Center For Functional Imaging. PET scans produce an image of the functional processes in the body, such as identifying cancerous tumors with radioactive-tagged glucose.

In this role, Baker has discovered in-house repairs have become more of a necessity. New detectors are difficult to find and costly. However, the challenge with repairing a PET scanner is that sometimes Baker is required to work from the high-current area located at the back of the scanner which could result in injury or death from electrical shock.

In evaluating the hazards of this work and the possible impacts, she worked with electrical-safety subject matter experts in the Environment, Health and Safety Division to identify and create control procedures to ensure Baker’s safety during repair and maintenance. This information is collected in the “Activity Hazard Document” and identifies those elements that carry high current and the Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures to de-energize or isolate them.

Implemented a year ago, this process has kept Baker safe while doing these repairs.

Share how you implement safety in your work.

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