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OSHA Requests Information on Possible Updates to the Lockout/Tagout Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is requesting information by Aug. 19 to possibly update its Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) standard. The agency is interested in comments on the use of control circuit-type devices to isolate energy as well as the evolving technology for robotics.

Deadline: August 19, 2019


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is requesting information to possibly update its Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) standard. The agency is interested in comments on the use of control circuit-type devices to isolate energy as well as the evolving technology for robotics.

The current lockout/tagout (LOTO) standard, published in 1989, requires that all sources of energy be controlled during the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment using an energy-isolating device. The standard specifies that control circuit devices cannot be used as energy-isolating devices, but the agency recognizes that recent technological advances may have improved the safety of control circuit-type devices.
 
OSHA may also consider changes to the LOTO standard to address hazardous energy controls for new robotics technologies. Employers are increasingly using robots and robotic components in their workplaces. OSHA would like to know more about what hazards and benefits this presents with respect to the control of hazardous energy, safeguards that can be used, increased efficiencies that may be a result, and any other information related to ensuring employee safety in interfacing with robots.
 
OSHA is requesting information on:
  • how employers have been using control circuit-type devices;
  • the types of circuitry and safety procedures being used;
  • limitations of their use;
  • conditions under which control circuit-type devices could be used safely;
  • new risks of worker exposure to hazardous energy as a result of increased interaction with robots; and
  • whether the agency should consider changes to the LOTO standard that would address these potential new risks.
This information will be used to decide what action, if any, OSHA should take to reduce the regulatory burden on industry and create jobs while improving worker safety.
 
NEGFA is considering submitting comments on behalf of Nebraska's grain and feed industry. If you have specific comments that you would like NEGFA to consider, please contact Kristi Block, Executive Vice President by Thursday, August 8.

 

The deadline for comment is August 19, 2019.  Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at regulations.gov or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details. For more information, visit osha.gov

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