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OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
U.S. Department of Labor

Process: Shipboard Electrical


Lockout/Tags-plus Systems

In addition to the requirements discussed previously (29 CFR 1915.132 and 1915.181), the proper deenergization and use of lockout/tags-plus applications are necessary to protect workers from the uncontrolled release of electrical energy.  A tags-plus system is used when an energy-isolating device cannot be locked.  It consists of at least one energy-isolating device with a tag affixed to it and at least one additional safety measure.  If an energy-isolating device is capable of being locked, a lock must be used unless the use of a tags-plus system gives full worker protection, equivalent to the safety provided from the use of a lock (29 CFR 1915.89(c)(2) and (c)(4)).  Locks and tags-plus applications must be used during the servicing, maintenance, and repair of machinery, equipment, or systems on vessels, vessel sections, and at landside operations.

All energy sources must be identified and isolated, and the machinery, equipment, or system must be rendered inoperative before any authorized employee performs servicing (29 CFR 1915.89(c)(1)).  Machinery, equipment and systems must be tested by using a properly calibrated voltmeter/instrument to verify that is has been deenergized and will not start up during servicing. Verification of deenergization and isolation must be continuously performed by each authorized employee or by the primary authorized employee in a group lockout/tags-plus application (29 CFR 1915.89(g)(1)).

Each lock and tag must be uniquely identified for the purpose of controlling hazardous energy and not used for any other purpose (29 CFR 1915.89(n)(2)).

During group lockout/tags-plus applications, when more than one authorized employee services the same machinery, equipment or system at the same time, each authorized employee must either apply a personal lockout/tags-plus system (29 CFR 1915.89(k)(2)(i)), or use an alternative procedure that affords each authorized employee an equivalent level of protection as having each authorized employee apply a personal lockout/tags-plus system (29 CFR 1915.89(k)(2)(ii)).

Example 1 -  Sign a group tag (or a group tag equivalent) before servicing is started and sign off the group tag (or the group tag equivalent) when servicing is finished (29 CFR 1915.89(k)(2)(ii)(A)).

Example 2 - Attach a personal identification device to a group lockout device before servicing is started and remove the personal identification device when servicing is finished (29 CFR 1915.89(k)(2)(ii)(B)).

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