Lockout/tagout standards â€” and principles â€” are still all-too-often violated. I offer a graphic reminder of the dire consequences that can be faced in such cases: Shortly after OSHAâ€™s lockout/tagout standard (29 CFR 1910.147, â€œThe Control of Hazardous Energyâ€) went into effect, an employee in Connecticut was working from a ladder, manipulating a belt on a large pulley/flywheel. He had â€œthrownâ€ a switch to â€œkillâ€ the power to the unit on which he was working. Another, well-meaning employee entered the room, noticed the switch in the OFF position, which was unusual, and moved it to ON. I shudder to have to tell you that the man on the ladder was decapitated. An employee died because lockout/ tagout (LOTO) was not implemented.
Although 1910.147 is not intended to prevent contact with live electrical parts, OSHA electrical safety-related work practices standards (1910.333) do address LOTO for protecting against electrical shock. Diligently complying with 1910.147 will also yield that benefit.