Lockout Tagout OSHA Standards are in place to prevent the injury and/or death of electrical workers. It's a well documented fact that most electrical accidents are caused by electrical workers accidentally or negligently contacting live electrical circuits and/or energized electrical equipment.
Indeed, most electrical accident are caused by the failure to shut down or de-energize equipment so that someone can properly perform electrical maintenance. The best and safest way to work on electrical equipment is to de-energize it. And if all employees used a strict lockout/tagout procedure, many electrical workers would still be alive today.
The Control of Hazardous Energy Source Standard (29 CFR 1910.147) is more commonly referred to as a Lockout Tagout OSHA Standard. This standard is an OSHA program designed to prevent the unexpected start-up, or energizing, of machinery and equipment during service and maintenance operations that could cause injury to employees. It is also designed to prevent the release of stored energy in the form of arc flash and arc blast that can and often does cause serious injury to electrical workers. The US electrical industry has been mandated to comply with the Lockout Tagout OSHA Standard since January 3, 1990.
The Lockout Tagout OSHA Standard applies to electrical workers:
Written Lockout Tagout OSHA Program
In order to comply with a written Lockout Tagout OSHA Program, a company must prepare a written work procedures document that includes the scope, purpose, authorization, rules, and techniques to be used to control hazardous energy. Training must also be provided to all employees who are affected by the lockout tagout procedures. The written Lockout Tagout OSHA program must include the following items:
Release from Lockout or Tagout
The authorized employee must follow the procedures below prior to removing lockout/tagout devices and restoring energy.
Removing lockout/tagout devices
At a very minimum condition, the lockout tagout OSHA procedures must include:
Group Lockout or Tagout
When servicing and/or electrical maintenance is performed by an electrical group (crew, craft, department, etc.), it is dictated that they must utilize a procedure which affords the employees a defined level of personal electrical protection which is equivalent to that provided by a personal protective lockout or tagout device.
Group lockout or tagout devices must be used in accordance with specific procedure and must include the following requirements, at a minimum:
Training must ensure that the purpose and function of your energy control plan are understood and that employees gain the needed knowledge and skills to safely apply, use, and remove hazardous energy controls
Minimum training must include:
That is the rationale behind lockout tagout. All sources of electricity that have the potential to be unintentionally activated, started or released must be identified and monitored. This is accomplished by installing locks (lockout) or tags (tagout) on electrical circuits to keep electricity from being accidentally activated when it shouldn’t be. OSHA lockout tagout standards mandate: “The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout Tagout). “This standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy could cause injury to employees”.
In general, this Lockout Tagout standard requires that all electrical energy sources for equipment be turned off, isolated (disconnected), and physically locked out. Bleeding, relieving, or blocking other stored and residual energy must also be done to achieve zero energy state. The last important function before equipment service can begin is to verify all energy has been deenergized and/or isolated. - Read More Here: Lockout Tagout Safety
OSHA states that all employers must have an Energy Control Program, and that "the employer shall establish a program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training, and periodic inspections to ensure that before any employee performs any servicing or maintenance on a machine or equipment where the unexpected energizing, start up or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury, the machine or equipment shall be isolated from the energy source, and rendered inoperative." - Read More Here: Lockout Tagout OSHA
Energy Control Plan
A company's hazardous energy control plan must specifically outline the scope, purpose, authorization, rules, and techniques to be utilized for the control of hazardous energy.
The plan must also include a company's methods to enforce compliance.
At a minimum, the following steps must be taken:
For more information, see: