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[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 97 (Monday, May 20, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 22756-22762]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-10247]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1910

[Docket No. OSHA-2016-0013]
RIN 1218-AD00


The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), DOL.

ACTION: Request for Information (RFI).

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SUMMARY: The control of hazardous energy is regulated under OSHA's 
control of hazardous energy (Lockout/Tagout) standard. The standard's 
purpose is to protect workers from the dangers of hazardous energy. 
This RFI seeks information regarding two areas where modernizing the 
Lockout/Tagout standard might better promote worker safety without 
additional burdens to employers: control circuit type devices and 
robotics. OSHA's Lockout/Tagout standard currently requires that all 
sources of energy, including energy stored in the machine itself, be 
controlled during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment 
using an energy-isolating device (EID). Control circuit type devices 
are specifically excluded from

OSHA's definition of an EID and are thus not a compliant method of 
controlling hazardous energy during service and maintenance activities. 
But technological advances since the standard was issued in 1989 
suggest that, at least in some circumstances, control circuit type 
devices may be at least as safe as EIDs. OSHA requests information, 
data, and comments that would assist the agency in determining under 
what conditions control circuit type devices could safely be used for 
the control of hazardous energy. OSHA may also consider changes to the 
Lockout/Tagout standard that address hazardous energy control for new 
robotics technologies. Employers are increasingly using robots and 
robotic components in their workplaces. OSHA would like to know more 
about what hazards and benefits this presents with respect to control 
of hazardous energy, safeguards that can be used, increased 
efficiencies that result, and any other information related to ensuring 
employee safety in interfacing with robots. OSHA will use the 
information received in response to this RFI to determine what action, 
if any, it may take to reduce regulatory burdens while maintaining 
worker safety.

DATES: Submit comments on or before August 19, 2019. All submissions 
must bear a postmark or provide other evidence of the submission date.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments and additional materials, identified by 
Docket No. OSHA-2016-0013, by any of the following methods:
    Electronically: Submit comments and attachments electronically at 
https://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. 
Follow the instructions online for making electronic submissions.
    Facsimile: OSHA allows facsimile transmission of comments and 
additional material that are 10 pages or fewer in length (including 
attachments). Send these documents to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 
693-1648. OSHA does not require hard copies of these documents. Instead 
of transmitting facsimile copies of attachments that supplement these 
documents (for example, studies, journal articles), commenters must 
submit these attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Technical Data 
Center, Room N3653, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. 
Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210. 
These attachments must identify clearly the sender's name, the date, 
subject, and docket number (OSHA-2016-0013) so that the Docket Office 
can attach them to the appropriate document.
    Regular mail, express mail, hand delivery, or messenger (courier) 
service: Submit comments and any additional material (for example, 
studies or journal articles) to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. 
OSHA-2016-0013 or RIN 1218-AD00, Technical Data Center, Room N3653, 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of 
Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: 
(202) 693-2350. (OSHA's TTY number is (877) 889-5627). All additional 
materials must clearly identify your electronic submission by name, 
date, and docket number so that OSHA can attach them to your comments. 
Due to security procedures, there may be delays in receiving materials 
that are sent by regular mail. For more information about security 
procedures concerning the delivery of materials by express delivery, 
hand delivery, and messenger or courier service, please contact the 
OSHA Docket Office. The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office 
are 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., ET.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency's name and 
the docket number for this RFI (OSHA-2016-0013). When submitting 
comments or recommendations on the issues that are raised in this RFI, 
commenters should explain their rationale and, if possible, provide 
data and information to support their comments or recommendations. 
Comments and other material, including any personal information, will 
be placed in the public docket without revision, and will be publicly 
available online at https://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters 
should not submit statements that they do not want made available to 
the public or include any comments that may contain personal 
information (either about themselves or others) such as Social Security 
Numbers, birth dates, and medical data.
    Docket: To read or download submissions or other material in the 
docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at 
the above address. The https://www.regulations.gov index lists all 
documents in the docket. However, some information (e.g., copyrighted 
material) is not available to publicly read or download through the 
website. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available 
for inspection at the OSHA Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket 
Office for assistance in locating docket submissions.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: 
    Press Inquiries: Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office of 
Communications; telephone: 202-693-1999; email: 
meilinger.francis2@dol.gov.
    General and technical information: Lisa Long, OSHA Directorate of 
Standards and Guidance; email: long.lisa@dol.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Copies of this Federal Register notice: Electronic copies are 
available at https://www.regulations.gov. This Federal Register notice, 
as well as news releases and other relevant information, is also 
available at OSHA's web page at https://www.osha.gov.
    References and Exhibits (optional): Documents referenced by OSHA in 
this RFI, other than OSHA standards and Federal Register notices, are 
in Docket No. OSHA-2016-0013 (Lock-out/Tag-out Update). The docket is 
available at https://www.regulations.gov, the Federal eRulemaking 
Portal. For additional information on submitting items to, or accessing 
items in, the docket, please refer to the ``ADDRESSES'' section of this 
RFI. Most exhibits are available at https://www.regulations.gov; some 
exhibits (e.g., copyrighted material) are not available to download 
from that web page. However, all materials in the dockets are available 
for inspection at the OSHA Docket Office.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction
II. Background
    A. Control Circuit Type Devices and Other Alternative Methods to 
Lockout/Tagout
    B. Addressing New Robotics Technology
    C. Economic Impacts
III. Request for Information, Data, and Comments
IV. Authority and Signature

I. Introduction

    OSHA is considering whether to initiate rulemaking to revise its 
control of hazardous energy standard for general industry. One aim of 
this RFI is to seek public comment on modernization of the control of 
hazardous energy standard without compromising worker safety. OSHA is 
requesting information from the public on its control of hazardous 
energy standard to help the agency determine how to best protect 
employees.
    OSHA's control of hazardous energy (Lockout/Tagout) standard covers 
the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the 
unexpected energization or start-up of machines or equipment, or 
release of stored energy, could harm employees.\1\ These hazards exist 
not only for the employees working directly with the machines or 
equipment, but also for the employees nearby. The Lockout/Tagout 
standard

was developed to address these hazards by establishing minimum 
performance requirements for the control of hazardous energy.\2\
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    \1\ 29 CFR 1910.147(a)(1)(i).
    \2\ Id. 1910.147(a)(1)(i).
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    The Lockout/Tagout standard currently requires that all hazardous 
energy from power sources and energy stored in the machine itself be 
controlled using energy isolating devices (EIDs) when an employee is 
performing servicing or maintenance of a machine or equipment.\3\ 
OSHA's definition of EIDs excludes push buttons, selector switches, and 
other control circuit type devices.\4\ Nevertheless, OSHA recognizes 
that there have been safety advancements to control circuit type 
devices since OSHA adopted the standard in 1989. Accordingly, OSHA is 
revisiting the Lockout/Tagout standard to consider whether to allow the 
use of control circuit type devices instead of EIDs for some tasks or 
under certain conditions. OSHA seeks information, data, and comments 
that would help the agency determine under which conditions, if any, 
control circuit type devices could safely be used. OSHA is also 
considering changes to the Lockout/Tagout standard that would reflect 
new industry best practices and technological advances for hazardous 
energy control in the robotics industry. OSHA invites information, 
data, and comments on these and any other issues or concerns that 
regulated employers, affected employees, and other interested parties 
may have regarding the existing Lockout/Tagout standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ Id. 1910.147(a)(2)(i); 1910.147(a)(3)(i); 1910.147(c)(i).
    \4\ Id. 1910.147(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Background

A. Control Circuit Type Devices and Other Alternative Methods to 
Lockout/Tagout

    The OSHA standard currently requires employers to use an EID to 
control hazardous energy during the servicing and maintenance of 
machines and equipment. Over the years, some employers have stated that 
they believe that control circuit type devices that use approved 
components, redundant systems, and control-reliable circuitry are as 
safe as EIDs. OSHA recognizes that recent technological advances may 
have resulted in safety improvements to control circuit type devices.
    In April 2016, OSHA granted a permanent variance to Nucor Steel 
Connecticut Incorporated (NSCI), permitting the use of a control 
circuit type device for the control of hazardous energy under the 
specific conditions presented in NSCI's request for a variance.\5\ 
NSCI, a manufacturer of steel wire rod and coiled rebar, had proposed 
the implementation of a complete system that would provide an 
alternative means of compliance to the requirements of 
1910.147(d)(4)(i) and (ii) with regard to grinding rolls on a roll mill 
stand. The engineered system used a ``trapped key'' concept and 
monitored safety-rated power relays in combination with administrative 
procedures. The trapped key system was designed to replace a locked out 
EID and to function similarly to a lockout device, in that only the 
employee in possession of the key could restart the machine undergoing 
maintenance. The single key was controlled through administrative group 
lockout procedures that NSCI asserted matched the requirements of 29 
CFR 1910.147.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ OSHA-2014-0022-0013/FR 2016-08004.
    \6\ OSHA-2014-0022/FR 2015-30483.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OSHA evaluated whether the device provided an equivalent level of 
employee personal control over machine re-energization, ability to 
account for exposed employees, and verification of isolation to that 
required by the OSHA standard.\7\ OSHA reached three conclusions. 
First, OSHA concluded that the alternate device allowed energy control 
measures to remain under the personal control of the exposed employee 
through control of the trapped key using a group lockbox. Second, OSHA 
concluded that employees were able to verify de-energization. Third, 
OSHA concluded that authorized employees were easily identified before 
equipment restart.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(8); 1910.147(d)(4); 1910.147(d)(6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After reviewing the alternative safety measures proposed in NSCI's 
application, and its responses to OSHA's follow-up questions,\8\ OSHA 
granted the employer a variance permitting use of this device 
exclusively for this task. 81 FR 20680. OSHA granted the variance based 
on a safety evaluation of the complete system, not just its individual 
components. Specifically, OSHA evaluated whether the alternative system 
could, as a whole, be considered as protective as an energy isolating 
device. OSHA concluded that the proposed trapped key system was as 
effective as full lockout during this task in ensuring against internal 
and external failures that could lead to the release of hazardous 
energy. The agency determined that internal failures, such as welded 
relay contacts or errors in the safety relays, would not cause a 
critical failure without alerting employees. With respect to 
vulnerability from outside failures, such as attempts to bypass the 
system, OSHA determined that the system also provided equivalent 
protection to full lockout for these types of failures.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OSHA-2014-0022-0007, 
https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OSHA-2014-0022-0009.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Although control circuit type devices may not permit easy visual 
confirmation of their application, in this instance, the system allowed 
the exposed employee to verify the effectiveness of the system through 
attempted startup of the machine. In addition, the safety system was 
designed to revert to a safe mode in the event of a failure, the status 
of the safety system was monitored by multiple safety relays, and any 
faults would be signaled to operators. After completing an analysis of 
the company's variance request and accompanying documentation, OSHA 
determined the proposed system was an effective alternative to full 
lockout for the task identified in the request.
    As a result of the evaluation of this recent variance request, OSHA 
has determined that there may be a basis for amending the Lockout/
Tagout standard to allow the use of control circuit type devices for 
hazardous energy control under certain conditions. Based on preliminary 
research and alliance-partner feedback, OSHA believes the use of 
control circuit type devices is typically limited to the types of tasks 
that do not meet the minor servicing exception in the Lockout/Tagout 
standard but that also do not require either extensive disassembly of 
the machine or worker entrance into hazardous areas that may be 
difficult to escape quickly. An example of such a task is machine 
setup. OSHA is requesting information about how employers have been 
using these devices, including information about the types of circuitry 
and safety procedures being used and the limitations of their use, to 
determine under what other conditions control circuit type devices 
could safely be used.
    As part of this RFI, OSHA is also evaluating criteria used by 
consensus standards to determine the safety effectiveness of control 
circuits. For example, the International Organization for 
Standardization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission 
(IEC) both have standards with detailed requirements for control 
circuit devices used for protection from machine hazards.\9\ The ISO 
and IEC

standards evaluate the safety of a control system by considering its 
design and function. The IEC standards evaluate whether a system can 
achieve a certain ``safety integrity level,'' while the ISO 13849-1 
consensus standard evaluates ``performance levels'' for each safety 
function. The ISO 13849-2 consensus standard also has safety categories 
that describe both the performance level required for that category and 
the characteristics of the error-checking of a system in that category. 
The highest safety category requires both the highest performance level 
of the control system and the most extensive error checking. 
Additionally, to determine the level of safety of a control system, 
both the IEC and the ISO standards consider the reliability of the 
system as a whole and its components, the operating environment, and 
the effects of failure.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ See, e.g., ANSI/ISO 12100:2012 Safety of machinery--General 
principles for design--Risk assessment and risk reduction; ISO 
13849-1:2015(E) Safety of machinery--Safety-related parts of control 
systems--Part 1: General principles for design; ISO 13849-2:2012(E) 
Safety of machinery--Safety-related parts of control systems--Part 
2: Validation; ISO/TR 22100-1:2015(E) Safety of machinery--
Relationship with ISO 12100--Part 1: How ISO 12100 relates to type-B 
and type-C standards; ISO/TR 22100-2:2013(E) Safety of machinery--
Relationship with ISO 12100--Part 2: How ISO 12100 relates to ISO 
13849-1; ISO 14118:2000(E) Safety of machinery--Prevention of 
unexpected start-up; ISO/TR 14121-2:2012(E) Safety of machinery--
Risk assessment-- Part 2:Practical guidance and examples of methods; 
IEC 62040-1:2017-04 PRV(en-fr) FINAL DRAFT INTERNATIONAL STANDARD 
Uninterruptible power systems (UPS)--Part 1: Safety requirements; 
IEC 62061:2005-01+AMD1:2012-11+AMD2:2015-06 CSV(en-fr) CONSOLIDATED 
VERSION Safety of machinery--Functional safety of safety-related 
electrical, electronic and programmable electronic control systems; 
IEC 61508-1:2010 INTERNATIONAL STANDARD Functional safety of 
electrical/electronic/programmable electronic safety-related 
systems--Part 1: General requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    OSHA promulgated the current version of 29 CFR 1910.147 on 
September 1, 1989. OSHA relied heavily on a 1982 consensus standard 
published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).\10\ The 
1989 preamble stated that the ANSI standard was ``[o]f great assistance 
to OSHA'' and that ``[t]he consensus standard was utilized by OSHA as 
the primary basis for development of its proposed standard.'' 54 FR 
36645. ANSI reaffirmed the 1982 consensus standard ``without any 
changes in content'' in 1988 and again in 1992.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ See ANSI Z244.1, American National Standard for Personnel 
Protection--Lockout/Tagout of Energy Sources--Minimum Safety 
Requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    But by 2014, the Z244.1 committee recognized that, with the rapid 
advancement of technology, ``[a]dvanced control systems provide new 
opportunities for addressing energy control where conventional lockout 
is not feasible, where energy is required to perform a task, where 
repetitive cycling of an energy-isolating device increases risk, and 
where energy is required to maintain equipment in a safe state, etc.'' 
As a result, ANSI revised its standard to include ``distinct 
requirements for controlling hazardous energy through three different 
approaches: lockout (the primary approach), tagout and alternative 
methods.''
    In 2016, the committee released a new consensus standard, ANSI/
ASSPP Z244.1--2016 The Control of Hazardous Energy Lockout, Tagout and 
Alternative Methods. The standard's Introduction states that it 
``provides for decision-making flexibility regarding hazardous energy 
control methodology. Alternative methods, when used, are based upon 
risk assessment and application of the classic hazard control hierarchy 
(clause 8.1.2). However, lockout continues to be emphasized as the 
primary hazardous energy control method.'' The ANSI standard requires 
that lockout or tagout ``be used unless the user can demonstrate an 
alternative method will provide effective protection for persons. When 
lockout or tagout is not used, then alternative methods shall be used 
only after the hazards have been assessed and risks documented.'' Thus, 
before using an alternative method, the employer is required to 
complete a practicability/justification analysis, a risk assessment, 
and other applicable evaluations. An accompanying chart and table in 
the standard go through the risk assessment process and the hazard 
control hierarchy.
    OSHA is seeking information, comments, and data on the 
effectiveness of these approaches to control system safety and any 
limitations or potential issues regarding their use for some tasks that 
currently require lockout/tagout.

B. Addressing New Robotics Technology in Relation to Lockout/Tagout

    Because robots may contain hazardous energy, the Lockout/Tagout 
standard can apply to their servicing and maintenance. OSHA has 
previously focused on industrial robots, defined as ``programmable 
multifunctional mechanical devices designed to move material, parts, 
tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions to 
perform a variety of tasks.'' \11\ OSHA is now studying the evolution 
of the use of robots in the workplace and how this affects employee 
protections related to the control of hazardous energy in the context 
of the Lockout/Tagout standard.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ OSHA, Robotics: Overview, available at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/robotics/index.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The traditional robot model involves a large device that welds 
metal pieces or moves panels or assemblies. This type of robot has a 
fixed base and an arm that moves freely. It is kept separate from 
workers during its operating stage and stays behind a locked door or 
within a locked compartment as it works. During periods of maintenance 
or adjustment, these robots' movements are supposed to be limited or 
greatly slowed to reduce or eliminate the potential for worker injury.
    The technological innovations of a new generation of robots, 
however, suggest that this may be changing. Unlike traditional robots, 
newer robots are more mobile and may be allowed to roam freely in a 
specified area, even if that area is separate from employees. 
Collaborative robots go a step further by working with human workers. 
In some cases, such robots are worn directly by the employees 
themselves, for example, as exoskeletons.
    Due to these advances in robotics, OSHA is seeking information, 
comments, and data about any new risks of exposure to hazardous energy 
that employees may face as a result of increased interaction with 
robots. OSHA is seeking information, comments, and data on whether the 
agency should consider changes to the Lockout/Tagout standard that 
would address these new risks, as well as to account for any reduction 
in risks or other benefits to worker safety, associated with using 
robots.

C. Economic Impacts

    In addition to the specific questions posed in Part III of this 
RFI, OSHA welcomes data and information on the potential economic 
impacts should OSHA decide to make changes to the Lockout/Tagout 
standard. When responding to the questions in this RFI, OSHA requests, 
whenever possible, that stakeholders discuss potential economic impacts 
in terms of:
    a. Quantitative benefits (e.g., reductions in injuries, fatalities, 
and property damage);
    b. Costs (e.g., compliance costs or decreases in productivity); and
    c. Offsets to costs (e.g., increases in productivity, less need for 
maintenance and repairs).
    OSHA also invites comment on any unintended consequences and 
consistencies or inconsistences with other policies or regulatory 
programs that might result if OSHA revises the 29 CFR 1910.147 
standard.
    OSHA welcomes all comments but requests that stakeholders discuss

economic impacts in as specific terms as possible. For example, if a 
provision or policy change would necessitate additional employee 
training, it is most helpful to OSHA to receive information on the 
following:
    1. The training courses necessary;
    2. The topics training would cover;
    3. The types of employees who would need training and what percent 
(if any) of those employees currently receive the training;
    4. The length and frequency of training;
    5. Any retraining necessary; and
    6. The training costs, whether conducted by a third-party vendor or 
by an in-house trainer.
    For discussion of equipment-related costs, OSHA is interested in 
all relevant factors including:
    1. The prevalence of current use of the equipment;
    2. The purchase price;
    3. Cost of installation and training;
    4. Cost of equipment maintenance and operation and upgrades; and
    5. Expected life of the equipment.
    The agency also invites comment on the time and level of expertise 
required if OSHA were to implement potential changes this RFI 
discusses, even if dollar-cost estimates are not available.

III. Request for Information, Data, and Comments

    OSHA is seeking information, data, and comments to help the agency 
determine what action, if any, it should take to modernize the control 
of hazardous energy standard while maintaining or improving worker 
safety. OSHA also seeks information, data, and comments that will 
inform the agency's analysis of the technological and economic 
feasibility of any such action.
    OSHA would like data, information, and comments on the following 
questions:

Control Circuit Type Devices

    1. In what work processes should OSHA consider allowing the use of 
control circuit type devices for hazardous energy control?
    2. What are the limitations to using control circuit type devices? 
Do they have specific weaknesses or failure points that make them 
unsuitable for hazardous energy control?
    3. If OSHA were to allow the use of control circuit type devices or 
other methods to control hazardous energy, would your firm choose to 
use them? Why or why not? Do you anticipate that these devices would 
save your firm money? For example, would these devices simplify 
operations or maintenance? Are there fewer steps needed to implement 
the controls? How frequently do you employ some form of lockout/tagout 
system in your facility?
    4. Are there any specific conditions under which the use of control 
circuit type devices would not be advisable?
    5. When the Lockout/Tagout standard was originally drafted, OSHA 
rejected the use of control circuit type devices for hazardous energy 
control due to concerns that the safety functions of these devices 
could fail as a result of component failure, program errors, magnetic 
field interference, electrical surges, or improper use or maintenance. 
Have new technological advances to control circuit type devices 
resolved these concerns? How so?
    6. Are there issues with physical feedback for control circuit type 
devices?
    7. What are the safety and health issues involving maintenance, 
installation, and use of control circuit type devices? Have you found 
that alternative safety measures themselves cause any new or unexpected 
hazards or safety problems? Please provide any examples if you have 
them.
    8. Do control circuit type devices address over-voltage or under-
voltage conditions that may signal power-off, power-on, or false 
negatives on error checking?
    9. How do control circuit systems detect if a component of a 
control circuit device breaks, bends, or otherwise goes out of 
specification? How do the systems signal this to the exposed employee? 
Could these types of failures create a hazard while the system 
continues to signal that conditions are safe?
    10. What level of redundancy is necessary in determining whether a 
control circuit type device could be used instead of an EID?
    11. Lockout/tagout on EIDs ensures that machines will not restart 
while an employee is in a hazardous area. How do control circuit type 
devices similarly account for employees working in areas where they are 
exposed to hazardous machine energy?
    12. How do control circuit type devices permit an employee to 
maintain control over his/her own safety?
    13. How do control circuit type devices permit employees to verify 
that energy has been controlled before beginning work in danger zones? 
How do the devices account for exposed employees before equipment is 
restarted?
    14. Control circuit type devices have a number of claimed benefits 
compared to energy isolating devices, including workers' greater 
willingness to use such devices, better efficiency, less downtime, and 
the lack of a requirement to clear programming on computer controlled 
devices. Are there any other benefits to using control circuit type 
devices? Are there certain situations where these devices are 
especially advantageous? For example, where machine tasks require 
frequent repetitive access, is the process faster and/or less 
physically demanding than applying mechanical lock(s)?
    15. What other methods or devices, if any, are being used with 
control circuit type devices to control the release of hazardous 
energy, especially in cases where the control circuit devices are only 
used to prevent machine start-up? Are there control circuit type 
devices that require additional methods or devices to fully control the 
release of hazardous energy? What improvements to safety or health does 
the use of these devices or methods provide?
    16. What are the unit costs for installing and using control 
circuit type devices or other alternative methods of hazardous energy 
control? Are the costs of installing and using control circuit type 
devices or other alternative methods of controlling hazardous energy 
dependent on the capacity or efficiency of the devices? If so, please 
include details on the effects of capacity on these unit costs 
including the capacity of any equipment you use in your facility. Are 
these devices generally integrated into newly purchased machinery, or 
are they purchased and installed separately? What steps need to be 
taken, and how long do those steps take, for these systems to be 
engaged in a manner that fully protects workers from the release of 
hazardous energy?
    17. What additional actions is your firm taking to protect workers 
when they are servicing machinery with control circuit type devices in 
order to meet OSHA's Lockout/Tagout standard requirements? For example, 
does your firm purchase and use physical devices that you feel do not 
enhance worker protections but nonetheless are required by the OSHA 
standard? What are these items and how much do they cost? Please 
explain why you feel these items do not enhance worker protections.
    18. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the 
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and the 
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) all have standards that 
may be applicable to control circuit type devices.\12\ Should OSHA 
consider

adopting portions of any ANSI, ISO, or IEC standard that specifies 
requirements for control circuit devices as part of an updated OSHA 
standard? Are there recommendations in the consensus standards that you 
choose not to follow? If so, please explain why. Are there any 
requirements in these standards that would impose significant cost 
burdens if OSHA were to include those requirements in a revised Logout/
Tagout standard? Are there provisions of one consensus standard when 
compared to the others that you perceive as having lower costs to 
implement and use on a day-to-day basis while providing protection to 
workers that is equal to or greater than that provided by the other 
standards? If so, please explain.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \12\ These include, but are not limited to, ANSI B11.19-2010 
American National Standard for Machines--Performance Criteria for 
Safeguarding, ISO 12100, ISO 14118, ISO 14121, IEC 62040, IEC 62061, 
and IEC 61508.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    19. ISO categorizes ``the ability of safety-related parts of 
control systems to perform a safety function under foreseeable 
conditions'' into one of five levels, called performance levels.\13\ 
These performance levels ``are defined in terms of probability of 
dangerous failures per hour.'' Should OSHA consider requiring a 
specific performance level in determining whether a control circuit 
type device could be a safe alternative to an EID?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ See ISO 13849-1:2015 Safety of Machinery--Safety-Related 
Parts of Control Systems--Part 1: General Principles of Design.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    20. Can System Isolation Equipment, as discussed in the UL 
consensus standard UL6420 Standard for Equipment Used for System 
Isolation and Rated as a Single Unit,\14\ provide protection equal to 
that obtained through lockout/tagout?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ UL6420 ``applies to isolating equipment incorporating 
electromechanical contactors remotely controlled and monitored to 
provide remote isolation status indication with a defined integrity 
level. This equipment is intended for use as an additional isolating 
means on the load side of the required supply-disconnecting device 
and over current protection. This standard applies to isolating 
equipment that is to be used in circuits of which the rated voltage 
does not exceed 1000 Vac or 1500 Vdc.'' See https://standardscatalog.ul.com/standards/en/standard_6420.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    21. The ANSI/ASSE Z244.1 consensus standard encourages the use of 
risk assessment and hazard control hierarchy as alternative methods of 
hazardous energy control. Should OSHA consider incorporating these 
methods in any new standard with respect to the use of control circuit 
type devices?
    22. Do you currently utilize the services of a specialized safety 
engineer or employment safety administrator to test for competency and/
or ensure that the hazardous energy control system is operational? If 
so, how many hours does this individual spend on these tasks? Do you 
anticipate you would need to make use of these services if OSHA revised 
the Lockout/Tagout requirements to align with the consensus standards? 
Based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OSHA estimates that 
an occupational health and safety specialist makes $33.14 an hour or 
$68,930 annually plus benefits.\15\ If you have used the services of 
such specialists, how does this compare with your experience?
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    \15\ Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment 
Statistics, May 2016 National Occupational Employment and Wage 
Estimate for SOC 29-9010 Occupational Health and Safety Specialists 
and Technicians,
     https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm. Accessed March 14, 
2018.
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    23. How much training do you currently provide on Lockout/Tagout 
requirements? How long does training on this subject take and how often 
do employees receive training on the subject? If OSHA were to revise 
the Lockout/Tagout standard to permit use of control circuit type 
devices in some circumstances, would newly hired workers require more 
training or less than under the current standard? What format do you 
use to provide training on the Lockout/Tagout standard at your facility 
(i.e., small group classroom session, self-guided computer modules, 
etc.)? If you have used third-party training vendors to provide similar 
training, what are the costs? If training is provided in-house, what 
sort of employee provides the training (i.e., a first-line supervisor, 
a safety and health specialist, etc.)?

Robotics

    24. Should OSHA consider making revisions to the Lockout/Tagout 
standard that address advances to robotics technology with respect to 
hazardous energy control? If so, what revisions should OSHA consider?
    25. What are the aspects of design and build, the features, or the 
specifications of modern robots that are relevant to an evaluation of 
whether a robot has the potential to release hazardous energy while in 
the presence of employees? How do you use robotics? Are robotics 
isolated from nearby employees? Near employees? Directly employed or 
worn by employees?
    26. Are you aware of any instances where workers have been injured 
or killed by the release of hazardous energy when working with robotic 
technologies? Please provide examples if you have them.
    27. Robots operate using software. What processes or tools exist to 
ensure that this software is safely operating (including protection 
from malware, tampering, and other threats) or displaying signs that a 
robot could malfunction and lead to a release of hazardous energy while 
in the presence of employees? Should OSHA consider making revisions to 
the Lockout/Tagout standard with respect to the safe functioning of 
robotics software? If so, what revisions should OSHA consider? To the 
extent that there are such revisions, how much would they increase the 
costs of or development hours for the software?
    28. Are you currently using some form of lockout/tagout to control 
hazardous energy in robots? What steps do you take? How long do those 
steps take? Do you use any specially purchased equipment or materials 
for this process? How frequently do you take steps to control hazardous 
energy releases in your industrial robots? How does the process compare 
to the steps undertaken to comply with OSHA's Lockout/Tagout standard? 
How many labor hours do these additional steps require? Do these steps 
require any additional equipment? If so, what does this equipment cost?
    29. Should OSHA consider adopting portions of the ANSI/RIA R15.06-
2012 standard on Industrial Robots and Robot Systems, which outlines 
the safety requirements for risk assessments of robotic system 
installations? Are there any requirements in the ANSI/RIA standard that 
would be prohibitively expensive for your company to implement? Are 
there any requirements that do not provide sufficient protections for 
workers?
    30. Is there another standard, besides ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012 
Industrial Robots and Robot Systems--Safety Requirements, that OSHA 
should consider in developing requirements for the control of hazardous 
energy involving robotics?

Specific Questions Regarding Economic Impacts

    31. Please describe in detail how a standard for the control of 
hazardous energy that incorporates the use of control circuit type 
devices or new robotic technology could create more jobs; eliminate 
outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective requirements; or produce other 
economic benefits. Please provide information supporting your view, 
including data, studies and articles.
    32. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, as amended) 
requires OSHA to assess the impact of proposed and final rules on small 
entities. OSHA requests comments, information, and data on how many and 
what kinds of small businesses, or other small entities, in general 
industry employment could be affected if OSHA decides to revise

provisions in 29 CFR 1910.147. Describe any such effects. Where 
possible, please provide detailed descriptions of the size and scope of 
operation for affected small entities and the likely technical, 
economic, and safety impacts for those entities.
    33. In addition, are there any reasons that the benefits of 
reducing exposure to hazardous energy might be different in small firms 
than in larger firms? Are there any reasons why the costs for 
controlling hazardous energy would be higher for small employers than 
they would be for larger employers? Are there provisions that would be 
especially costly to small employers? Please describe any specific 
concerns related to potential impacts on small entities that you 
believe warrant special attention from OSHA. Please describe 
alternatives that might serve to minimize those impacts while meeting 
the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 
U.S.C. 651 et seq.

IV. Authority and Signature

    Loren Sweatt, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational 
Safety and Health, authorized the preparation of this notice pursuant 
to 29 U.S.C. 653, 655, and 657, Secretary's Order 1-2012 (77 FR 3912, 
Jan. 25, 2012), and 29 CFR part 1911.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on May 7, 2019.
Loren Sweatt,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2019-10247 Filed 5-17-19; 8:45 am]
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