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Lockout-tagout rule a success, declares OSHA

June 1, 2000
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OSHA has completed a "Lookback" review of its lockout-tagout standard, concluding that:
  • The standard protects 3.3 million workers at one million facilities;

  • It has reduced fatalities from unexpected activation of machinery in the auto and steel industries by 20 to 55 percent since 1989, when the standard was issued;

  • A substantial amount of noncompliance still exists (the standard is generally one of the five standards most frequently cited by OSHA inspectors); and

  • The standard does not significantly burden small business.

Based on this review, OSHA says the lockout-tagout rule should be continued without change, though more compliance help is needed. OSHA intends to:

  • Review and update the lockout-tagout compliance directive;

  • Review existing interpretations relating to the standard and develop interpretations to address questions raised by review participants; and

  • Develop, in conjunction with the National Automobile Dealers Association, compliance help for industries engaged in vehicle maintenance and repair.

Existing compliance help includes a lockout-tagout interactive training program and interactive, expert, diagnostic software that allows users to be interviewed about their activities to determine whether workers might be exposed to hazards from moving machinery or electricity or other sources of energy. These materials may be obtained from the OSHA Publications Office, Room N-2101, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, or the OSHA Web page at


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