OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

June 4, 1991



SUBJECT:            Interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.147 Related to Floating
                   Fish Processors

This is in response to your memorandum of March 1, in which you requested an interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.147, the standard on the control of hazardous energy sources. Specifically, your question pertained to the applicability of 1910.147 to the factory portion of floating fish processors.

1910.147(a)(1)(ii)(A) exempts "maritime employment" from coverage by the standard. In addressing this exemption the preamble to the standard refers to the shipyard and marine terminal provisions at Parts 1915 and 1917. In this situation the relevant set of standards is Part 1915 on shipyard employment. 1915.2(a) defines "ship repair" as "any repair of a vessel including, but not restricted to, alterations, conversions, installations, cleaning, painting, and maintenance work." The related term "ship repairman" is found in the employee coverage provision of the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Since the OSHA shipyard employment standards were promulgated under the LHWCA, as well as Section 6 of the OSH Act, interpretations of terms used in the LHWCA are relevant in determining the meaning of similar terms used in the shipyard employment standards. According to Joshua Gillelan, a senior attorney in the Employee Benefits Division of the Solicitor's Office with much experience in LHWCA matters, the term "ship repairman" would refer to the maintenance of any equipment on a vessel, including fish processing equipment. Therefore, such maintenance is, we believe, within the meaning of the aforementioned exemption to the lockout/tagout standard. It should be noted that Part 1915 contains standards on the de-energization of equipment, specifically at 29 CFR 1915.162-165 and at 29 CFR 1915.181.

We hope this helps to clarify your concerns.