The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets rules and standards to keep employees safe. OSHA has created standards related to lockouts and tagouts to protect employees from injury or possibly even death if a machine they are working on unexpectedly starts or reenergizes or energy is released.
OSHA’s Rules for Employees Working on Machines
If it is possible that hazardous stored energy could be released or that stored energy could re-accumulate and reach a dangerous level, the employer is required to take steps to protect the employee from danger. OSHA requires that a person turn off the machine and disconnect it from the energy source before servicing it. An employee must then lock or tag the energy-isolating device so that energy cannot be released and put the worker in danger.
How Lockout and Tagout Devices Can Prevent Accidents
A lockout device holds an energy-isolation device in a safe and off position to prevent the machine from being energized. A lockout device is a positive restraint that can only be removed by unlocking it or cutting it off.
A tagout device is a warning device that is fastened to an energy-isolating device that warns other people not to re-energize the machine while work is being done on it. A tagout device is easier to remove and provides less protection than a lockout device.
Do OSHA’s Standards Apply to Your Business?
The OSHA rules apply to the servicing of machines if the unexpected startup, re-energization, or release of stored energy could cause injury. The standard applies to all sources of energy, including mechanical, electric, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, and thermal.
The OSHA standard does not apply to electrical hazards associated with conductors or equipment involved in electric utilization installations or to agriculture, construction, maritime, or oil or gas drilling or servicing industries. The standard also does not apply if exposure to hazardous energy can be prevented by unplugging the machine and only the employee servicing the machine has control of the plug.
The standard does not apply to employees performing hot-tap operations in pressurized gas, steam, water, or petroleum pipelines if continuity of service is required and shutting down the system is impractical. Employees must use special equipment and procedures that provide protection. It also does not apply if the employee is performing minor servicing activities.
Order Lockout/Tagout Supplies to Keep Your Workers Safe
If your employees sometimes work on machines where there is a danger of injury from the machine starting up, re-energizing, or releasing stored energy, your workers should use lockout or tagout supplies to prevent accidents. 1st Aid Supplies carries lockout/tagout centers that can help prevent injuries when employees are working on machines. Order lockout/tagout supplies today to keep your workers safe.