MCAA trains contractors in safe line breaking

ROCKVILLE, MD. — The Mechanical Contractors Association of America has released “Breaking the Line: Best Practices for Safe Line Breaking,” the latest addition to the association’s popular safety training kit series that provides a worker safety training video, take-away pocket guides with key points from the training, a handy documentation mechanism to assist contractors in documenting which workers have received the training and a test to assist in verifying that workers understand the materials.

“Line breaking, or the intentional opening of a closed piping system, can be tricky because piping systems can carry substances that are flammable, toxic, corrosive, scalding and/or under extreme pressure,” noted Tom Skaggs, chairman of MCAA’s Safety and Health Committee and vice president – safety for the Murphy Co. “It’s smart to establish and follow the best safe work practices available, and this new safety training kit makes that easy,” he added.

The “Breaking the Line: Best Practices for Safe Line Breaking” safety training kit reviews some of the more common safety issues involving line breaking, such as those that occur when lines are not completely drained, the wrong valves are closed, motor control centers are not locked out, valves are missed during lockout procedures, and residual pressure is still in the line.

“Failure to follow safe work practices can result in injuries to workers,” noted MCAA Director of Safety and Health Pete Chaney. “Workers can be struck by flying objects, experience heat or chemical burns; inhale toxic gases, mists or vapors; incur skin conditions; and inadvertently start fires,” he said.

The training reviews these key areas of line breaking safety:

• Initial hazard identification;
• Walk-downs;
• Personal protective equipment;
• Lockout/tagout;
• Hazard warnings;
• Depressurizing and draining systems;
• Opening lines; and
• Other best safe work practices.

MCAA members and local affiliated associations received a free copy of “Breaking the Line: Best Practices for Safe Line Breaking.” Additional copies of the full safety training kit are available to members for $85 and to non-members for $255.

The safety training kit is available from MCAA’s Bookstore at, where contractors can also find the individual kit components as well as a wide variety of additional safety training kits and safety talks to assist with their in-house worker safety training needs. All have been designed specifically for the mechanical construction, service and plumbing industries.

Additional information about MCAA’s Safety Excellence Initiative or how contractors can put these safe line breaking best practices to work is available from Pete Chaney at 800/556-3653 or [email protected]

The MCAA serves the unique needs of approximately 2,500 firms involved in heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, plumbing, piping, and mechanical service by providing its members with high-quality educational materials and programs to help them attain the highest level of managerial and technical expertise.

Related Articles

MCAA Releases Updated Change Order Publication

MCAA Participates in DOL Apprenticeship Recognition Program

MCAA Announces 2011 Student Chapter Summit