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Lockout/Tagout, 29 CFR 1910.147

On October 30, 1989, the Lockout/Tagout Standard, 29 CFR 1910.147, went into effect. It was created to help reduce the death and injury rate caused by the unexpected energization or start-up of machines, or the release of stored energy.

The standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization, start-up or release of stored energy could cause injury [29 CFR 1910.147 (a)(l)(i), 1910.147 (a)(2)(i)]. Normal production operations, cords and plugs under exclusive control, and hot tap operations are not covered [29 CFR 1910.147 (a)(2)(ii)]. This is intended to apply to energy sources such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, chemical, nuclear, and thermal.

Lockout is the placement of a lockout device on an energy isolation device (circuit breaker, slide gate, line valve, disconnect switch, etc.) to ensure that the energy isolating device and equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed. A lockout device utilizes a positive means such as a lock (key or combination type) to hold an energy isolating device in a safe position and prevent the energization of a machine or equipment. The lockout device must be substantial enough to prevent removal without use of excessive force or unusual techniques.

Tagout is the placement of a tagout device (a tag or other prominent warning device and a means of attachment) on an energy isolation device to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.

The lockout device shall be used unless the employer can demonstrate that the utilization of a tagout system will provide full employee protection. The tagout device shall be non-reusable, attached by hand, self-locking, and non-releasing with a minimum unlocking strength of no less than 50 pounds and must be at least equivalent to an all-environment tolerant nylon cable tie.

Written Program

OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147 (c)(4) covers the minimal acceptable written program procedures. It must include:

  1. A specific written statement of the intended use of the procedure. 
  2. Specific procedural steps are taken for shutting down, isolating, blocking and securing machines or equipment to control hazardous energy. This must be done for each piece of equipment, unless it is a duplicate. 
  3. Specific procedural steps for the placement, removal and transfer of lockout devices and the responsibility for them. 
  4. Specific requirements for testing the effectiveness of the lockout devices, tagout devices and other energy control measures.

Training

Training of employees will be done by an authorized employee [29 CFR 1910.147 (c)(7)(I)]. The affected employees shall be instructed in the purpose and use of the energy control procedure and all other employees whose work operations are or may be in an area where energy control procedures may be utilized. When tagouts are used, employees must be instructed in the limitations of these devices.

Employee retraining shall be provided for all authorized and affected employees whenever there is a change in their job assignments, a change in machines, equipment or processes that present a new hazard, or when there is a change in the energy control procedures. After January 2, 1990, whenever replacement or major modification of a machine or equipment is performed, and whenever new machines or equipment are installed, energy isolating devices for such machines or equipment shall be designed to accept a lockout device. [29 CFR 1910.147 (c)(2)(iii)]

Removal of Lockout/Tagout Devices

Before lockout or tagout devices are removed, the authorized employee shall ensure that non-essential items are removed and machine components are operationally intact. The area should be checked to ensure all employees are safely positioned or removed and all affected employees notified that lockout/tagout devices have been removed. The lockout/tagout device must be removed by the person who applied the device. If the person who applied the device is not available, the device may be removed by another employee if the employer has established a specific procedure and training for this. When group lockout/tagout devices are used, a procedure equivalent to the personal lockout/tagout system should be followed. [(29 CFR 1910.147 (f)(3)]

Commonly Asked Questions

Q.

Can I use a tagout instead of a lockout when it is impossible to lock out?

A.

When it is impossible to lock out, or in industries where the use of tags has been well established and accepted as a recognized prohibitive to the operation of energy isolating devices, a tagout procedure has proven to be equal in protection to a lockout procedure.

Q.

Do I have to lockout/tagout a machine that only requires the unit to be unplugged?

A.

In situations where work on cord-and-plug-connected electric equipment is under the exclusive control of the employee performing the servicing or maintenance, the standard does not apply.

Q.

Are there any other standards related to lockout/tagout?

A.

Yes. OSHA can use 29 CFR 1910.212, General Requirements for All Machines, and 29 CFR 1910.219, Mechanical Power Transmission Apparatus, to cite business for lack of compliance. These two other areas allow OSHA to issue a double citation for non-compliance.

Product Reference:

Lab Safety Supply has the products you need to keep your workers safe and comply with current regulations. Please refer to the Lockout/Tagout and Training sections of your Lab Safety Supply General Catalog for details.

Sources for More Information

29 CFR 1910.1471910.212 and 1910.219.

ANSI Z244.1-2003, Personal Protection Lockout/Tagout of Energy Sources.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 
11 W. 42nd St. 
New York, NY 10036 
(212) 642-4900

Seim, B., Beutler, W., "Ancillary Safety Interlocks Enhance Conventional Lockout/Tagout Procedures," Occupational Health and Safety, October 1993, pp. 47--50.

Occupational Safety and Health Reporter, January 13, 1994, p. 973.

LOCK-OUT TAG-OUT DEFINITIONS

Affected employee. An employee whose job requires him/her to operate or use a machine or equipment on which servicing or maintenance is being performed under lockout or tagout, or whose job requires him/her to work in an area in which such servicing or maintenance is being performed.

Authorized employee. A person who locks out or tags out machines or equipment in order to perform servicing or maintenance on that machine or equipment. An affected employee becomes an authorized employee when that employee's duties include performing servicing or maintenance covered under this section.

Capable of being locked out. An energy isolating device is capable of being locked out if it has a hasp or other means of attachment to which, or through which, a lock can be affixed, or it has a locking mechanism built into it. Other energy isolating devices are capable of being locked out, if lockout can be achieved without the need to dismantle, rebuild, or replace the energy isolating device or permanently alter its energy control capability.

Energized. Connected to an energy source or containing residual or stored energy.

Energy isolating device. A mechanical device that physically prevents the transmission or release of energy, including but not limited to the following: A manually operated electrical circuit breaker; a disconnect switch; a manually operated switch by which the conductors of a circuit can be disconnected from all ungrounded supply conductors, and, in addition, no pole can be operated independently; a line valve; a block; and any similar device used to block or isolate energy. Push buttons, selector switches and other control circuit type devices are not energy isolating devices.

Energy source. Any source of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other energy.

Hot tap. A procedure used in the repair, maintenance and services activities which involves welding on a piece of equipment (pipelines, vessels or tanks) under pressure, in order to install connections or appurtenances. it is commonly used to replace or add sections of pipeline without the interruption of service for air, gas, water, steam, and petrochemical distribution systems.

Lockout. The placement of a lockout device on an energy isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, ensuring that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.

Lockout device. A device that utilizes a positive means such as a lock, either key or combination type, to hold an energy isolating device in the safe position and prevent the energizing of a machine or equipment. Included are blank flanges and bolted slip blinds.

Normal production operations. The utilization of a machine or equipment to perform its intended production function.

Servicing and/or maintenance. Workplace activities such as constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, modifying, and maintaining and/or servicing machines or equipment. These activities include lubrication, cleaning or unjamming of machines or equipment and making adjustments or tool changes, where the employee may be exposed to the unexpected energization or startup of the equipment or release of hazardous energy.

Setting up. Any work performed to prepare a machine or equipment to perform its normal production operation.

Tagout. The placement of a tagout device on an energy isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.

Tagout device. A prominent warning device, such as a tag and a means of attachment, which can be securely fastened to an energy isolating device in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.

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