If you have read the OSHA standard on the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910.147, then you are aware that it is a bit cumbersome and can leave you with questions. Fortunately, there is the publication booklet OSHA 3120. This handy resource has answers for just about all of the frequently asked questions that pertaining to Title 29 CFR Part 1910.147. As long as you are familiar with the OSHA Standards of Lockout/Tagout, the publication OSHA 3120 helps put the standards into context to help with understanding and documentation.
The OSHA 3120 publication starts with some basic background: What is “lockout/tagout”? Why do I need to be concerned about lockout/tagout? As the 8th most common cited violation by OSHA in the fiscal year 2013, from our last blog, it is important that all companies that have electrical machinery, and employees, be familiar with the standard.
In the publication, the section on OSHA Coverage answers the all important lockout/tagout question: How do I know is the OSHA Standard applies to me?
Other sections include Commonly Used Terms as well as contact information for OSHA Regional and Area Offices, OSHA Consultation Projects and OSHA-Approved Safety and Health Plans.
OSHA Commonly Used Terms:
- Lockout. The placement of a lockout device on an energy-isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, ensuring that the energy-isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.
- Lockout device. A device that uses a positive means such as a lock, either key or combination type, to hold an energy-isolating device in the safe position and prevent the energizing of a machine or equipment. Included are blank flanges and bolted slip blinds.
- Tagout. The placement of a tagout device on an energy-isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy-isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.
- Tagout device. A prominent warning device, such as a tag and a means of attachment, which can be securely fastened to an energy-isolating device in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy-isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed. (OSHA 3120, pg. 21)
We will close here with one of the most significant questions from the OSHA 3120 publication: What do I do if I cannot lock out the equipment?
Sometimes it is not possible to lock out the energy-isolating device associated with the machinery. In that case, you must securely fasten a tagout device as close as safely possible to the energy-isolating device in a position where it will be immediately obvious to anyone attempting to operate the device. (pg. 10)
OSHA 3120 (osha.gov/Publications/3120.html)