Will OSHA update its lockout/tagout standard?
Washington — OSHA is seeking input on potential updates to its lockout/tagout standard, specifically concerning control circuit type devices and robotics, according to a Request for Information published in the May 20 Federal Register.
When the agency first issued the standard in 1989, control circuit type devices were specifically excluded as an energy isolator during the servicing and/or maintenance of machinery and other equipment. However, the RFI states that technological advances “suggest that, at least in some circumstances, control circuit type devices may be at least as safe as [energy isolating devices].”
OSHA is requesting information, data and comments to help determine under what conditions control circuit type devices could safely be used for the control of hazardous energy.
Likewise, the agency is looking at robotics technology, wanting to know “what hazards and benefits this presents with respect to control of hazardous energy, safeguards that can be used, increased efficiencies that result, and any other information related to ensuring employee safety in interfacing with robots.”
Comments on the RFI are due Aug. 19.