Optimizing Your Lockout-Tagout Procedures in Line with OSHA’s 1910.147 Standard
OSHA 1910.147, also known as the Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) standard, establishes guidelines for implementing proper procedures to control hazardous energy sources. The standard is focused on preventing accidents that can occur when someone unexpectedly starts up a machine or equipment during maintenance or repair.
Imagine a scenario where a machine inadvertently fires up while your technician is performing maintenance. OSHA 1910.147 was developed to prevent these accidents and keep your people safe.
Let’s take a closer look at what OSHA 1910.147 entails and define why it’s crucial for ensuring workplace safety.
The Key Components for OSHA 1910.147 Compliance
To comply with OSHA 1910.147, you need to have a few key things in place:
- Identify all the energy sources that could potentially cause harm in your workplace.
- Develop a detailed procedure that explains how to control and isolate these energy sources.
- Train your employees about the risks associated with hazardous energy and the proper procedures to control it.
- Periodic inspections should be conducted by an authorized employee, different from those who implement the energy control procedures.
This authorized individual, referred to as the “inspector,” must assess the following, according to OSHA:
- Adherence to the energy control procedure’s steps.
- Employee awareness and understanding of their responsibilities within the procedure.
- The adequacy of the procedure’s protection measures and the need for any necessary modifications.
In addition to period inspections, make sure to keep protective materials and hardware for lockout procedures conveniently located for employee usage.
OSHA 1910.147 is not a one-and-done compliance exercise. It’s important to periodically inspect your energy control procedures to ensure they are being followed correctly.
According to OSHA’s requirements, all locks must:
- Be provided by the employer
- Be uniquely identifiable and designated solely for lockout/tagout purposes.
- Be exclusively used for lockout/tagout procedures
Utilizing a hands-on management approach and the proper locking equipment will ensure ongoing adherence to the latest safety standards.
Main Questions About OSHA 1910.147
At SEAM Group, we work with companies across industries to implement OSHA-compliant programs and strategies related to safe, reliable asset management. Here are some of the most common questions we answer related to LOTO and OSHA:
What is the purpose of section 1910.147?
According to OHSA, “this standard covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or start-up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy could cause injury to employees. This standard establishes minimum performance requirements for the control of such hazardous energy.” The standard aims to protect employees from the dangers associated with the release of hazardous energy, such as electrical shock, burns, crushing injuries, or being caught in machinery.
What is the most common form of hazardous energy control?
The most common and widely recognized form of hazardous energy control, as prescribed by OSHA 1910.147, is the LOTO method. Lockout/tagout is a procedure used to physically isolate and disable energy sources to prevent the accidental release of hazardous energy during the maintenance, repair, or servicing of machinery or equipment.
What assets should we be concerned about?
Hazardous energy sources can come from various systems, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, and thermal. The OSHA standard requires employers to create a comprehensive program that outlines specific steps to effectively isolate and control these energy sources.
How common are LOTO issues?
Industry statistics say they are more common than you may think. According to OSHA’s “Top 10 most frequently cited standards” report for FY 2022, LOTO ranked as the sixth-most frequently cited standard.
And a recent OSHA Fact Sheet points out that employees servicing or maintaining machines or
equipment may be exposed to serious physical harm or death if hazardous energy is not properly controlled. Compliance with the LOTO standard prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year, according to OSHA.
Looking for an Expert LOTO Partner?
At SEAM Group, our experts have put together a comprehensive approach to building a world-class LOTO approach for your organization.
Our solutions include:
- End-to-end LOTO program design
- LOTO procedure development updates
- Annual LOTO periodic inspections
- NFPA required training and customized training.
- LOTO program gap assessment
- Digitization and management of the LOTO program through ViewPoint® to enhance efficiency, compliance, and performance, dLOTO.
ViewPoint® is a simple, scalable technology solution that helps you govern and administer your procedures with sequencing and activity reporting.
It also ensures:
- Real-time monitoring with sequential LOTO execution with verification checks
- Enhance safety with controlled de-energizing/energizing with QR code scanning
- Improved compliance with photo verifications of applied locks and audit trail capabilities
Leverage our decades of experience with safety, compliance, European Guidelines, NFPA, and OSHA standards. While other providers lead with product and software; we bring a comprehensive approach to your safety, reliability, and maintenance challenges.
ViewPoint is far more than a lockout/tagout tool; it brings together:
- Safety-critical information from your LOTO and arc flash programs
- Condition-monitoring insights from Infrared thermography, Vibration, Ultrasound, and Motor and Oil Testing
ViewPoint empowers you to make data-informed decisions and show your predictive maintenance program’s impact on energy savings, carbon reduction, downtime avoidance, and more.