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Hazardous Energy Type Codes


Hazardous energy is any energy source that “can be hazardous to workers”. Failure to control the unexpected release of energy can lead to machine-related injuries or fatalities. The risk from these sources of energy can be controlled in a number of ways, including access control procedures such as lockout-tagout.

When equipment is being prepared for service or maintenance, they often contain some form of hazardous energy that can cause harm to people in the area. Hazardous Energy Types should be captured on the work order during the work planning process. 

Hazardous Energy Types include the following:

  • Chemical energy is the energy released when a substance undergoes a chemical reaction. The energy is normally released as heat, but could be released in other forms, such as pressure. A common result of a hazardous chemical reaction is fire or explosion.
  • Electrical energy is the most common form of energy used in workplaces. It can be available live through power lines or it can also be stored, for example, in batteries or capacitors. 
  • Hydraulic energy is the energy stored within a pressurized liquid. When under pressure, the fluid can be used to move heavy objects, machinery, or equipment. Examples include automotive car lifts, injection molding machines, power presses, and the braking system in cars. 
  • Pneumatic energy is the energy stored within pressurized air. Like hydraulic energy, when under pressure, air can be used to move heavy objects and power equipment. Examples include spraying devices, power washers, or machinery. 
  • Steam energy is energy from the generation of steam. When working with an energy source at such a high pressure and temperature, the potential injuries are severe. 
  • Thermal energy is energy from an explosion, flame, objects with high or low temperatures or radiation from heat sources. 
  • Radiation energy is energy related to ionizing, low-frequency electromagnetic, optical, or radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation. 
  • Mechanical energy is the energy contained in an item under tension. For instance, a compressed or coiled spring will have stored energy which will be released in the form of movement when the spring expands. 
  • Gravitational energy is the energy related to the mass of an object and its distance from the earth (or ground). The heavier an object is, and the further it is from the ground, the greater its gravitational potential energy.
See examples of industry-standard Hazardous Energy Type Codes below.


Code Definition
CHM Chemical
ELCT Electrical
HYD Hydraulic
MEC Mechanical
STM Steam
PNU Pneumatic
THM Thermal
RAD Radiation