• Publication Date:
  • Publication Type:
    Final Rule
  • Fed Register #:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/Tagout); Supplemental Statement of Reasons.

On September 1, 1989, OSHA promulgated a final standard entitled "Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/Tagout)," to protect workers from releases of hazardous energy during servicing or maintenance of machines and equipment. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in UAW v. OSHA, 938 F.2d 1310, remanded the lockout/tagout standard to OSHA for further consideration on three issues: first, the criteria used by OSHA in setting safety standards under section 3(8) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (the OSH Act); second, justification for the final rule''s preference for lockout over tagout; and third, OSHA''s determination that the final rule should apply to all general industry workplaces in which hazardous servicing and maintenance operations take place. OSHA has determined that they are clear and definitive criteria which guide and limit the Agency''s discretion in establishing safety standards under the OSH Act. In applying these criteria to the lockout/tagout standard, OSHA has determined that the standard complies with the statutory criteria. In addition, on the second remand issue, involving the standard''s preference for lock over tags, OSHA has determined that such a preference is warranted by the fact that lock-based safety programs are less susceptible to human error and thus can be expected to save more lives and prevent more injuries than tag-based programs. On the third remand issue, OSHA reaffirms and further explains its reasons for applying the standard throughout general industry. Finally, the Agency discusses two approaches to regulatory decision-making, formal cost-benefit analysis and risk-analysis, which the court suggested in its opinion as possible alternatives for OSHA to consider in setting safety standards.