In an effort to protect workers from the dangers of hazardous energy, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a request for information (RFI) on the modernization of its Lockout/Tagout standard. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) encourages stakeholders to submit comments by August 19, 2019.
OSHA RFI on Lockout/Tagout Standard
The RFI, issued in a recent Federal Register, seeks information regarding two areascontrol circuit type and robotics in which modernizing the Lockout /Tagout standard might better promote worker safety without additional burdens to employers. Whereas OSHA's current Lockout/Tagout standard requires that all sources of energy are controlled during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment using an energy-isolating device (EID), technological advances since the standard was issued in 1989 may suggest that control circuit type devices may be at least as safe as EIDs in some circumstances. To that end, OSHA requests information, data, and comments that would assist the agency in determining the conditions to utilize control circuit type devices, safely, for the control of hazardous energy.
Additionally, as employers add robots and robotic components in their workplaces, OSHA requests input on the hazards and benefits this presents with respect to control of hazardous energy, safeguards that can be used, increased efficiencies that could result, and any other information related to ensuring employee safety in interfacing with robots.
See the Federal Register RFI for submission guidelines and additional information.