OSHA is requesting assistance with getting information on the Control of Hazardous Energy standard, or Lockout/Tagout (LOTO). The Agency requested this help in a news release posted May 17, 2019. The LOTO standard addresses the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities.
The Agency is investigating to find how companies are using control circuit-type devices to isolate energy, as well as the evolving technology for robotics. The main focus for this research is finding:
- How employers are using these control circuits
- What safety procedures are in place
- The limitations of the circuit use (to determine under what other conditions control circuit-type devices may be used safely)
- New risks of worker exposure to hazardous energy as a result of increased interaction with robots
- Changes OSHA should consider making to the standard to resolve/prevent these issues
Current LOTO Standard
Since 1989, there have been no changes to the LOTO standard. When servicing and maintaining machines and equipment using an energy-isolating device, all sources of energy must be controlled. The standard also enforces that employers may not use control circuit devices as energy-isolating devices. Undoubtedly, with constant technology advances, OSHA recognizes that regulations may be outdated and new technology could provide more safety.
How to Submit Comments
OSHA’s deadline for comments is August 18, 2019. To submit comments regarding the LOTO standard, please visit Regulations.gov, the federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or send a fax or email to OSHA.
For more information on the LOTO standard, please visit the LOTO OSHA Fact Sheet that provides more details. Furthermore, for information on how SMART Safety can help your company ensure they are compliant with OSHA standards, please visit our Services page or request information through our Contact page.
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