OSHA Considering Lockout/Tagout Update

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may be looking to update its Control of Hazardous Energy, also known as Lockout/Tagout, standard. The agency is requesting input from the public, specifically about the use of control circuit-type devices to isolate energy, as well as robotics technology.

OSHA is requesting information about:

  • how employers have been using control circuit devices, including information about the types of circuitry and safety procedures being used
  • limitations of their use, to determine under what other conditions control circuit-type devices could be used safely
  • new risks of worker exposure to hazardous energy as a result of increased interaction with robots
  • whether the agency should consider changes to the LOTO standard that would address these new risks.

The current standard “requires that all sources of energy be controlled during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment using an energy-isolating device.” It further specifies that control circuit devices cannot be used, “but the agency recognizes recent technological advances may have improved the safety of control circuit-type devices,” OSHA stated in a news release.

The Lockout/Tagout standard was first published in 1989.  Comments must be submitted by mail, by fax, or online on or before August 18, 2019.