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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 37

Lock Out/Tag Out Program

Instruction: Chapter 37 is revised to incorporate pertinent provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard.

1. Purpose and Scope.

A. To specify the minimum Occupational Safety and Health Program (Program) requirements for the Department of the Interior (Department or DOI) and U.S. Geological Survey (Bureau or USGS) lockout/tag-out program.

B. Written lockout/tag-out procedures must be established for any activity or operation when servicing and/or maintenance operations are performed on a machine or equipment and the unexpected energizing, startup or release of stored energy could occur and cause injury. In such cases, the machine or equipment must be isolated from the energy source and rendered inoperative. This includes situations that require an individual to remove or bypass a safety device or to place his or her body on a machine or piece of equipment, as well as situations when an associated danger zone exists during a machine operating cycle.

C. This chapter does not apply to minor tool changes, adjustments, and other minor servicing activities that take place during normal operations, so long as these servicing activities are routine and repetitive, and effective alternative measures are used to guard the machine.

D. Written lockout/tag-out procedures are not required for work performed on cord and plug connected electrical equipment when the potential hazard is controlled by unplugging the equipment from the energy source, and the plug is under the exclusive control (including visual contact) of the individual performing servicing or maintenance. Although written procedures are not required, the equipment must be unplugged during servicing or maintenance.

E. The lockout/tag-out program applies to all USGS personnel, volunteers and contractors performing work on property owned by USGS or occupied by its personnel. This chapter supplements those requirements established by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 29 CFR 1910.147.

2. Authorities/References.

A. 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.147, The Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tag-out).

B. 29 CFR 1910.147, Appendix A, Typical Minimal Lockout Procedures.

3. Requirements.

A. Machines, equipment, and instrumentation will be isolated from all potential energy sources before an individual performs any servicing or maintenance activities if the energizing, start-up, or release of stored energy could cause harm to the individual working on the machine or equipment.

(1) Procedures for locking out or tagging out will be written for each type of machine or equipment.

(2) All sources of energy (e.g., electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, gravitational, kinetic, etc.) will be identified in the procedures.

(3) The procedures will include specific steps for shutting down, isolating, blocking and securing machines or equipment to control each form of hazardous energy. Hazardous energy includes stored energy such as in capacitors and springs.

(4) The procedures will include specific steps for the placement, removal, and transfer of lockout devices or tagout devices and will designate the responsibility for each step.

(5) The procedures will include specific requirements for testing a machine or equipment to determine and verify the effectiveness of lockout devices, tagout devices, and other energy control measures. For instance, a test to determine if an electrical system is at zero energy may be performed with a volt-ohm meter.

B. Lockout and tag-out will be performed only by individuals designated by their supervisor who are trained to lockout and/or tag-out machines or equipment in order to perform service or maintenance.

C. Locking devices will be used on systems which are capable of being locked. Tag-out devices are allowed only when the following can be demonstrated:

(1) The use of locking devices is impractical and entails burdens that exceed any advantage of using lockout over tag-out devices, and

(2) Full personnel protection can be provided per 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(3).

D. Training. All authorized, affected, and incidental personnel will receive training consistent with their level of lockout/tag-out responsibility in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(7).

(1) An authorized employee, volunteer, or contractor is one who has been designated to perform service or maintenance. Training for authorized employees and volunteers will include the recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace, and the methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control.

(2) An affected employee, volunteer, or contractor is one who operates or uses a machine on which servicing is being performed, or one who is required to work in an area in which such servicing is being performed. Affected individuals will be instructed in the purpose and use of the energy control procedure.

(3) Incidental employees, volunteers, and contractors are those who may work in an area where energy control procedures are used. These individuals will be instructed about the procedure and the prohibition against restarting or reenergizing machines or equipment which are locked out or tagged out.

(4) Retraining will be provided for all authorized and affected individuals whenever there is a change in their job assignments; a change in machines, equipment, or processes that present a new hazard; or when there is a change in the energy control procedures. Additional retraining will be conducted whenever a periodic inspection or other evidence reveals that there are inadequacies in the individual’s knowledge or use of the energy control procedures.

(5) The supervisor will issue a certificate that the training has been accomplished and is being kept up to date. The certification will contain each individual's name and dates of training.

E. Individual or group lockout and tag-out application will be in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.147(d). Release from lockout or tagout procedures will follow the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.147(e).

(1) An example of group lockout is to place a lock on each energy source. Place the key for each of these locks into a box. Place a hasp on the box’s lock. Then each authorized (exposed) employee places his or her lock on the hasp. This prevents the box from being opened until the last employee removes his or her lock.

F. Lockout and tag-out apparatus will be provided by the employer. Lockout and tag-out devices are to be clearly identifiable and meet the construction specifications of 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(5).

G. Shift or personnel changes. To ensure the continuity of lockout or tagout protection when shifts or personnel change, the incoming personnel will place their lock(s) and/or tag(s) on the equipment prior to outgoing personnel removing their lock(s) and/or tag(s). This should minimize exposure to hazards from the unexpected start-up of the machine or equipment or the release of stored energy.

H. Periodic Inspection. A periodic inspection of the energy control procedure will be performed at least annually by an authorized employee other than the ones(s) using the procedure.

(1) The purpose of the periodic inspection is to correct any deviations or inadequacies identified. Examples of these are: previously unidentified energy sources; procedures that are not clear; and lockout devices that are worn, broken, or the wrong size or type.

(2) Where lockout is used for energy control, the periodic inspection will include a review between the inspector and each authorized individual of that individual’s responsibilities under the energy control procedure being inspected.

(3) Where tag-out is used for energy control, the periodic inspection will include a review between the inspector and each authorized and affected individual, of that individual’s responsibilities under the energy control procedure being inspected, and the elements in 1910.147(c)(7)(ii).

(4) The authorized inspector will prepare a certificate showing that the periodic inspections have been performed. The certificate will identify the machine or equipment on which the energy control procedure was being utilized, the date of the inspection, the individuals included in the inspection, and the person performing the inspection.

4. Responsibilities.

A. Bureau Safety Manager.

(1) Promotes the lockout/tag-out program.

(2) Develops Bureau-level program policy and guidance regarding lockout/tag-out and assists Regional Safety Managers in the development and administration of regional programs, as applicable.

(3) Assists Regional Safety Managers in coordinating training to meet the requirements of this chapter.

(4) Provides program oversight and periodically evaluates Regional offices and regional science program center effectiveness, as applicable, providing recommendations to management for program enhancement.

B. Regional Safety Managers.

(1) Ensure promotion of the lockout/tag-out program.

(2) Provide technical guidance on lockout/tag-out procedures and policy to regional safety personnel and Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators (CDSPCs).

(3) Assist regional safety personnel and CDSPCs in coordinating employee training requirements.

(4) Provide regional program oversight and conduct periodic evaluations of regional offices’ and regional science program centers’ lockout/tag-out programs as applicable, to determine effectiveness and to provide management with recommendations for program enhancement.

C. Regional Safety Personnel.

(1) Ensure promotion of the lockout/tag-out program.

(2) Provide technical guidance on lockout/tag-out procedures and policy to regional CDSPCs.

(3) Assist regional CDSPCs in coordination of training requirements.

(4) Conduct periodic evaluations of regional field location lockout/tag-out programs as applicable, to determine effectiveness and to provide management with recommendations for program enhancement.

D. Organizational Managers and Supervisors.

(1) Designate authorized individuals. Ensure authorized individuals possess the skills required for the safe usage of energy control devices.

(2) Ensure authorized individuals receive information and training, consistent with this chapter and 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(7), and maintain records of all training.

(3) Ensure all energy control procedures are formally established by a job hazard analysis (JHA), standard operating procedure, or other documentation.

(4) Ensure that periodic inspections of the lockout procedures are conducted at least annually for each authorized individual. When tagout procedures are used, the periodic inspection must also include affected individuals. Ensure that a certification of the inspection is prepared.

E. Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators (CDSPCs).

(1) Assist supervisors in the development of an effective lockout/tag-out program for all individuals who perform service or maintenance on equipment or machinery, inclusive of coordinating and tracking employee lockout/tag-out training.

(2) Assist supervisors in selecting and procuring appropriate lockout/tag-out equipment.

(3) Conduct periodic self-evaluations of the organizational lockout/tag-out program and provide recommendations for program enhancement to appropriate management and supervisors.

F. Personnel. Use safe and prudent work practices, complying with all program elements and training requirements outlined in this chapter.

G. Contractor Technical Representatives (COTRs).

(1) Ensure contractor personnel engaged in activities under the scope of this chapter employ lockout/tag-out procedures that meet or exceed those outlined in this chapter and that all work agreements and contracts reference OSHA 1910.147.

(2) Ensure contractors engaged in activities covered by the scope and of this chapter coordinate their lockout or tag-out procedures with USGS.

5. Additional Resources.

A. OSHA Technical Link, Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tag-out).

B. OSHA Lockout/Tagout eTool

C. OSHA publication 3120 Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)


s/Karen D. Baker 8/9/05
for Carol F. Aten
Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services
Designated Agency Safety and Health Official

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
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Last modification: 13-Feb-2013@17:00 (kk)