OSHA considers revisiting Lockout/Tagout Standard

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration 

OSHA is soliciting input on the use of control circuit-type devices and evolving technology for robotics in manufacturing or production operations with an eye to potential updates for the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) standard.

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

Published in 1989, the current Lockout/Tagout standard requires that all sources of energy be controlled during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment using an energy-isolating device. It stipulates that control circuit devices cannot be used as energy-isolating devices, but the agency recognizes recent technological advances may have improved the safety of such equipment. Comments and perspectives can be submitted through August 18 via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, www.regulations.gov.