What Are Specific OSHA Standards For LOTO Tags?

lockout tagout page April 30, 2022 4 min read

OSHA standards are sets of rules that are in place to ensure the safety of employees in the workplace. These standards are meant to ensure that individuals and teams always know the proper way to handle hazardous materials. They set the regulations regarding how a team should interact with a proper lockout tagout lock system. LOTO tags, in particular, are designed to send a clear visual signal that what they are attached to poses a potential hazard and who is authorized to remove the lockout device and restore service. Additionally, they help keep everyone safe while they work with potentially hazardous energy.

1919.147 Summary for Tagging The 1919.147 tagging process is an OSHA standard that makes it easy for employees to safely interact with equipment or machinery that might have a high energy risk during powerup processes. It is designed to ensure that all members of the team always understand when it is and is not safe to turn on a machine or energy source at any given point in time. Specifically, these standards are in place for machines that put out enough energy to harm an employee in the event it was unexpectedly turned on. Using the 1919.147 procedural steps, it is easy for everyone involved to understand when someone is working on the machine or in an area where they might be at risk if another member of the team or another team were to turn on the energy source or machine. This quick and easy system allows for employees to communicate without vocalizing where they will be. This allows various teams to work on systems without relying exclusively on communication or scheduling, which can easily be compromised due to human error. When an employee does utilize a lockout tagout device, it is acknowledging that the equipment has been properly deenergized and is ready to be worked on. Further, it is that employee’s way of communicating to all other staff members that they will be working on the machine. This guarantees that everyone is aware that the machine can not be safely turned on, or an employee might be at risk. It guarantees that no matter who is working on the machine for an intended purpose, those responsible for the powerup process will always be aware of their presence.

Lockout and Tagout General Standards From a physical perspective, there are several key standards that must be met for an acceptable lockout device, and these devices must be standardized within the workplace by color, shape, or size. First, the device must be durable enough to endure the environment and certain weather conditions. These devices must be able to be exposed to the environments that they will be placed in for the maximum period of time that they are expected to be within the environment. These devices must be able to withstand significant force and must be substantial in nature so that they cannot be forcefully removed using raw strength or any device like bolt cutters. Additionally, these devices must not deteriorate when faced with certain weather conditions or certain corrosive materials including acid or alkali metals. Tagout devices have their own standards that must be met in order to meet the requirements for such a device, and these devices must be standardized within the workplace by color, shape, or size. In addition to this, tagout devices must be standardized by print and format as well. The devices used to attach the tags must be durable enough to avoid any accidental removal, non-reusable in nature, designed to be attached by hand, self-locking, and unable to be released by any strength that is equivalent to less than 50 pounds. a one-piece all environment-tolerant nylon cable tie is the minimum standard. The primary purpose of the tag is to warn against hazardous conditions in the event that the equipment is energized and to indicate that the operation or movement of energy isolating devices from the ‘safe’ or ‘off’ position is prohibited. Finally, both devices, locks and tags, must be designed with a clear identification system that make it easy to know the identity of the employee utilizing the device. They must also be accompanied with clear training and directions on use for each employee across any teams known to be using the devices.

What Makes Tagging to Meet the 1919.147 Different from Any Other Type of Industrial or Hazard Tagging? Tagging to meet the 1919.147 is unique because it is a critical part of the lockout process for potentially hazardous energy. It is exclusively for energy and cannot be used for any other kind of tagging or hazardous identification needs. The need for a tagout system in this circumstance is intended to aid in communication during the servicing and maintaining of equipment that specifically poses a risk for hazardous energy. Overall, lockout tagout OSHA complaint tags must be:

Standardized by either shape, size, or color.Print and format must be standardized.Not used for any other purpose.Clearly warn of hazardous conditions. OSHA recommends one of the following ; Do Not Start, Do Not Open, Do Not Close, Do Not Energize, Do Not Operate.Withstand certain conditions and make for easy use within a specific type of environment.

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Rowin Mandia


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