Elimination of live work


Serious incidents involving “Live Work” have become more prevalent in the industry as the technical complexity of designs has changed the way we conduct many traditional tasks.  This has led to calls for the industry to eliminate the need for conducting “Live Work” through designers providing ways to conduct tasks with significant exposure to people involved.

Following EMESRT member enquiries, EMESRT recently coordinated industry stakeholders in the development and publication of a “Live Work” definition poster.  This common definition development was being promoted by many stakeholder groups as there was a wide and varied understanding, resulting in either misaligned activity by designers or no activity being undertaken.

As a result, EMESRT was supported by industry stakeholders to facilitate a process of wide engagement to develop a common understanding of “Live Work”.   This common understanding has facilitated the range of stakeholders involved to work towards a number of goals, including:

  • Enabling OEM equipment design changes into future product offerings
  • Stimulating the development of third-party technology adaptable for legacy equipment
  • Clearer definition of “Live Work” in service and repair documentation
  • Aligned user led elimination of live work working groups to gain the necessary end user perspective for successful uptake

EMESRT would like to acknowledge all the stakeholders who have contributed to the common definition and applaud those OEM’s who have already committed dedicated engineering and project teams to understand and work through the challenges of eliminating the need for “Live Work”.

The publishing of the Elimination of “Live Work” web page and common definition poster, available below, brings the current EMESRT activity to a conclusion.

What is Live Work?

Any work on plant, equipment or system where the energy cannot be fully isolated in a practical manner, posing risk or injury due to uncontrolled energy within the hazard exposure zone.

Examples of live or un-isolated work
  • Work tasks where personnel are required to enter the articulation zone or operational shadow of un-isolated equipment
  • The hazards associated with live work typically involve exposure to energy:

–   Unintended Mechanical Movement e.g. mechanical linkage crush zones

–   Live Electrical Work e.g. fault finding energised conductors

–   Pneumatic / Hydraulic Systems e.g. pressurised hydraulic circuits and accumulators

–   Stored Potential Energy e.g. suspended loads

  • Any other type of energy that can activate a given item or piece of equipment, that requires isolation to ensure safety
NOTE: Normal production operation of the equipment per the OEM's operational recommendations is not defined as Live Work.