The National Safety Council's (NSC) new proposed voluntary lockout/tagout standard is now available for formal public comment.
The Accredited Standards Committee on Control of Hazardous Energy (Z244), accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), has developed the proposed standard, Control of Hazardous Energy -- Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods.
In March 1982, American National Standard for Personal Protection -- Lockout/Tagout of Energy Sources -- Minimum Safety Requirements Z244.1 was approved.
In 1987, the standard was reaffirmed. In 1988, OSHA released a proposed rule, "The Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/Tagout)" 29CFR1910.147 which used ANSI Z244.1 as a principal reference source.
The Z244 committee at the time believed that no consequential action should be taken on the Z244.1 standard while federal rulemaking was underway.
In September 1989, OSHA promulgated its final rule 29CFR1910.147. Again, in 1992, ANSI Z244.1 was re-affirmed without change.
Due to the rapid growth in technology that requires different methods and techniques for safeguarding workers from the unexpected release of hazardous energy as well as the wealth of casualty related to hazardous energy release, the Z244 committee was reconstituted in 1997.
The committee voted to revise the existing standard after more than 20 years without change.
Consequential meetings began in 1998 and the revision process began with writing task groups and continued through 2001, when the current document was produced.
The Z244 committee and NSC, the secretariat, said they have "made a concerted effort to produce a standard that represents the 'best practice' regarding the control of hazardous energy."
The public comment period is intended to give those not represented on the committee an opportunity to suggest changes to the draft.
The comment period will last 60 days, beginning with notification in the Aug. 24 issue of ANSI's Standards Action newsletter and ending on Oct. 23, 2001.
After the comment period concludes, the committee will review and respond to each public comment.
A copy of the new proposed standard is available on NSC's Web site at www.nsc.org.
Edited by Virginia Foran