Each year when OSHA reports its most frequently violated standards, the control of hazardous energy, also known as lockout tagout (1910.147) consistently appears high on the list of greatest offenders.
OSHA’s General Industry’s standard for the Control of Hazardous Energy (LOTO) 29 CFR 1910.147 addresses one of the most important safety regulations to protect workers from injury: lockout/tagout. The standard requires workers to isolate energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment to prevent the unexpected startup or release of energy.
The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), 29 CFR 1910.147, standard was promulgated on September 1, 1989, at Federal Register, Volume 54, No. 169, and was effective January 2, 1990, as announced at Federal Register, Volume 54, No. 213, November 6, 1989.
Unfortunately, as with many OSHA requirements, they inform you “what” to do, but not “how” do it, and leave this part up to the employer. The challenge for many employers is the lack of knowledge or experience to effectively implement the OSHA lockout guidelines.
Defining alternative approaches: Alternative approaches to lockout are protective measures created when it is not feasible to lockout because of the need for energy sources to be present in order to accomplish assigned work.