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OSHA Requirements

The OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), 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 standard outlines measures for controlling hazardous energies—electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other energy sources.

What must employers do to protect employees?

  • Develop, implement, and enforce an energy control program
  • Use lockout devices for equipment that can be locked out. Tagout devices may be used in lieu of lockout devices only if the tagout program provides employee protection equivalent to that provided through a lockout program
  • Ensure that new or overhauled equipment is capable of being locked out
  • Develop, implement, and enforce an effective tagout program if machines or equipment are not capable of being locked out
  • Develop, document, implement, and enforce energy control procedures
  • Use only lockout/tagout devices authorized for the particular equipment or machinery and ensure that they are durable, standardized, and substantial
  • Ensure that lockout/tagout devices identify the individual users
  • Establish a policy that permits only the employee who applied a lockout/tagout device to remove it
  • Inspect energy control procedures at least annually
  • Provide effective training as mandated for all employees covered by the standard
  • Comply with the additional energy control provisions in OSHA standards when machines or equipment must be tested or repositioned, when outside contractors work at the site, in group lockout situations, and during shift or personnel changes.


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