The National Safety Council's new proposed voluntary lockout/tagout standard, titled "Control of Hazardous Energy - Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods," is now available for formal public comment.

The proposed standard, developed by the Accredited Standards Committee on Control of Hazardous Energy (Z244), represents the first revision to the existing standard, "American National Standard for Personnel Protection - Lockout/Tagout of Energy Sources - Minimum Safety Requirements Z244.1," which was approved in 1982.

The original standard was reaffirmed in 1987, and a year later OSHA released a proposed rule, "The Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/Tagout)" 29CFR1910.147, which used ANSI Z244.1 as a principal reference source. The Z244 Committee, which is accredited by ANSI, at the time believed no consequential action should be taken on Z244.1 while federal rulemaking was underway. In 1989, OSHA promulgated its final rule 29CFR1910.147, and in 1992 ANSI Z244.1 was again reaffirmed without change.

However, the Z244 Committee was reconstituted in 1997 following technology advances that led to newer methods for safeguarding workers from hazardous energy release along with an ample amount of casualty data regarding hazardous energy release. The committee voted to revise Z244.1, and the revision process continued through this year with the release of the new document.

The public comment period will last 60 days, ending on October 23, 2001, after which the committee will review and respond to each public comment.

A copy of the new proposed American National Standard is available from the NSC by calling 1-800-621-7619 or visiting NSC's Web site,