Understanding OSHA Lockout Tagout 29 CFR 1910.147

OSHA Lockout Tagout

OSHA Lockout Tagout

OSHA Lockout Tagout - The OSHA Reg. 29 CFR 1910.147 standard standard for the control of hazardous energy lockout tagout 29 cfr 1910.147 is in place to prevent the injury and/or death of electrical workers. It's a well documented fact that most electrical accidents are caused by electrical workers accidentally or negligently contacting live electrical circuits and/or energized electrical equipment. 

The standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (29 CFR 1910.147) for general industry, outlines specific action and procedures for addressing and controlling hazardous energy during maintenance and services of machines and equipment. Employers are also required to train each worker to ensure that they know, understand, and are able to follow the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control procedures. Workers must be trained in the purpose and function of the energy control program and have the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage and removal of the energy control devices.

Indeed, most electrical accident are caused by the release of hazardous energy and failure to shut down or de-energize equipment so that someone can properly perform electrical maintenance. The best and safest way to work on electrical equipment is to de-energize it. And if all occupational safety and health employees used a strict lockout/tagout procedure, many electrical workers would still be alive today.


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The Control of Hazardous Energy Source Standard (29 CFR 1910.147) is more commonly referred to as a Lockout Tagout LOTO OSHA Standard. This standard is an OSHA program designed to prevent the unexpected start-up, or energizing, of machinery and equipment during service and maintenance operations that could cause injury to employees. It is also designed to prevent the release of stored energy in the form of arc flash and arc blast that can and often does cause serious injury to electrical workers. The US electrical industry has been mandated to comply with the Lockout Tagout OSHA Standard since January 3, 1990.

The Lockout Tagout OSHA Standard applies to electrical workers:
1. If the electrical worker or employee is required to remove or bypass a guard or other electrical safety device during service and maintenance of electrical equipment or machinery.
2. If there is an associated hazard zone that exists while a machine operating cycle is in place.
3. If the electrical worker is required to place any body part into an area of the machinery or equipment where work is actually being performed upon the material being processed.

Written Lockout Tagout OSHA Program
In order to comply with a written Lockout Tagout OSHA Program, a company must prepare a written work procedures document that includes the scope, purpose, authorization, rules, and techniques to be used to control hazardous energy. Training must also be provided to all employees who are affected by the lockout tagout procedures. The written Lockout Tagout OSHA program must include the following items:

  • A specific statement about the intended use of the program
  • Specific steps for shutting down, isolating, and blocking machinery and equipment in order to control hazardous energy
  • Specific procedures for the placement and removal of lockout/tagout devices as well as the method to identify an individual’s locks or tags

Release from Lockout or Tagout
The authorized employee must follow the procedures below prior to removing lockout/tagout devices and restoring energy.


  • Make sure all employees are safely positioned outside dangerous areas


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