Frequently Asked Questions
A. Lockout/Tagout refers to the procedures established for Control of Hazardous Energy as described by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under Federal Registry 29 CFR1910.147. Lockout/Tagout ensures employee safety during inspection, maintenance, or service of equipment by controlling all energy flow to and from the equipment. To achieve system lockout, all energy sources are turned off or disconnected, and stored energy is released, restrained, or dissipated. A lock or lockout device applied to each energy source prevents accidental startup. Tagout refers to application of warning tags to energy sources to ensure the equipment is not restarted until service has been completed. Tags may be used with locks for enhanced safety assurance, where lockout is not possible, tagout may be an alternative. Tagout alone is not as secure as is lockout.
A. All companies whose employees service or maintain equipment with potentially hazardous energy sources must have an OSHA-compliant Lockout/Tagout program.
A. Any energy source that presents a potential hazard must be locked out.
- Compressed Gas
A. Yes. Employees must attend courses presented by qualified instructors.
- Employees who maintain or service equipment must be fully trained in lockout/tagout procedures. They are “authorized” to conduct lockout/tagout.
- Operators who do not service or maintain the equipment they use are trained as “affected” employees.
- Employees who have little contact with the equipment receive “other” employee training so as to recognize but not actually perform the lockout/tagout procedure.
- All employees must be trained before working with or on the equipment. Employees receive retraining whenever they are assigned to new equipment.
A. Lockout/Tagout is required whenever employees are exposed to hazardous energy. The program is designed to protect service and maintenance employees from unexpected startup. The OSHA standard includes the following activities:
- Tool Changes
- Clearing Jams
Normal operations are not covered except under the following conditions:
- A safety guard is opened or removed.
- A safety device is missing or bypassed.
- An employee must enter the area where the equipment performs its operation.
- An employee must enter an area of associated operations.
During these conditions, the equipment must be deenergized through Lockout/Tagout.
A. A few service and maintenance activities do not require Lockout/Tagout, provided they are performed using alternative protection measures:
- minor tool changes and adjustments.
- routine, repetitive service that is integral to normal production operations.
- cord and plug-connected equipment if the equipment is unplugged and under sole control of servicing employee.
- service on pressurized gas, steam, water, and petroleum products systems where continued operation is essential, shutdown is impractical, and alternative protection is provided.
A. The machine or equipment has a single energy source that can be readily identified and isolated and has no potential for stored or residual energy or reaccumulation of stored energy. Single-source equipment does not require Lockout/Tagout.