OSHA is contemplating a revision of its Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout (LOTO)) standard in order to include guidence about updated technologies to keep workers safe.
The agency is seeking comments from employers who use control circuit-type devices to isolate energy, as well as feedback about the evolving technology for robotics.
Specifically, knowledge is being gathered about how employers have been using control circuit devices, including information about the types of circuitry and safety procedures being used; limitations of their use, to determine under what other conditions 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 new risks.
The lockout/tagout standard, which was first published in 1989, defines how all sources of energy should be controlled during 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 OSHA states recent technological advances may have improved the safety of control circuit-type devices.
Comments must be submitted on or before August 18, 2019. Comments and materials may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal, or by facsimile or mail. See the Federal Register notice for submission details.