When can another employee’s lockout lock be removed?

OSHA 1910.147(e)(3) states that only the authorized employee who applied the lockout/tagout device is permitted to remove it after the LOTO procedure is over. However, if the authorized employee who initially applied the lockout tagout device is not available, then another employee supervised by the employer can remove the lockout/tagout device provided that specific procedures and training for such process have been developed, documented, and incorporated into the employer’s energy control program. Furthermore, the specific procedure shall include at least the following elements set by OSHA:
  • The employer has fully verified that the authorized employee who initially applied the lockout tagout device is not at the facility.
  •  All reasonable efforts are made to contact the authorized employee to inform him/her that the lockout tagout device has been removed.
  • The authorized has been informed before he/she resumes work.

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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