What is a group lockout?

A group lockout tagout procedure entails the participation of multiple authorized employees in the repair or servicing of a single machine or piece of equipment. OSHA standard 1910.147(f)(3) lays out the guidelines for group lockout tagout:


Group lockout or tagout.


When servicing and/or maintenance is performed by a crew, craft, department, or other groups, they shall utilize a procedure that affords the employees a level of protection equivalent to that provided by the implementation of a personal lockout or tagout device.


Group lockout or tagout devices shall be used in accordance with the procedures required by paragraph (c)(4) of this section, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following specific requirements:


Primary responsibility is vested in an authorized employee for a set number of employees working under the protection of a group lockout or tagout device (such as an operations lock);


Provision for the authorized employee to ascertain the exposure status of individual group members with regard to the lockout or tagout of the machine or equipment and


When more than one crew, craft, department, etc. is involved, assignment of overall job-associated lockout or tagout control responsibility to an authorized employee designated to coordinate affected workforces and ensure continuity of protection; and


Each authorized employee shall affix a personal lockout or tagout device to the group lockout device, group lockbox, or comparable mechanism when he or she begins work, and shall remove those devices when he or she stops working on the machine or equipment being serviced or maintained.

Hasps are particularly helpful in group lockout tagout procedures because they can accommodate multiple personal safety padlocks. Typically, hasps come with up to six separate padlock holes. When a hasp is attached to a single switch, multiple employees will be able to install their padlocks and thus be able to repair or service a machine as a group.

The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional/legal advice or substitute government regulations, industry standards, or other requirements specific to any business/activity. While we made sure to provide accurate and reliable information, we make no representation that the details or sources are up-to-date, complete or remain available. Readers should consult with an industrial safety expert, qualified professional, or attorney for any specific concerns and questions.


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