Hazardous energy; Occupational safety. Industrial hygiene (ICS 13.100), Accident and disaster control (ICS 13.200), Industrial robots. Manipulators (ICS 25.040.30), Electrical accessories (ICS 29.120), Switchgear and controlgear (ICS 29.130)
The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) (7 page(s), in English)
The control of hazardous energy is regulated under OSHA's control of hazardous energy (Lockout/Tagout) standard. The standard's purpose is to protect workers from the dangers of hazardous energy. This RFI seeks information regarding two areas where modernizing the Lockout/Tagout standard might better promote worker safety without additional burdens to employers: control circuit type devices and robotics. OSHA's Lockout/Tagout standard currently requires that all sources of energy, including energy stored in the machine itself, be controlled during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment using an energy-isolating device (EID). Control circuit type devices are specifically excluded from OSHA's definition of an EID and are thus not a compliant method of controlling hazardous energy during service and maintenance activities. But technological advances since the standard was issued in 1989 suggest that, at least in some circumstances, control circuit type devices may be at least as safe as EIDs. OSHA requests information, data, and comments that would assist the agency in determining under what conditions control circuit type devices could safely be used for the control of hazardous energy. OSHA may also consider changes to the Lockout/Tagout standard that address hazardous energy control 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 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. OSHA will use the information received in response to this RFI to determine what action, if any, it may take to reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining worker safety.