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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 http://www.osha.gov.
September 4, 1991
MEMORANDUM FOR: JAMES F. FOSTER, DIRECTOR OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS THROUGH: PATRICIA K. CLARK, DIRECTOR DIRECTORATE OF COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS FROM: RAYMOND E. DONNELLY, DIRECTOR GENERAL INDUSTRY COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE Subject: Article In Magazine Containing Incorrect Information About Lockout/Tagout Requirements
The purpose of this memorandum is to bring to your attention the attached memorandum, dated July 10, from Linda Anku, Regional Administrator for Region III. The memorandum discusses an incorrect statement about a lockout/tagout procedure that was published is a magazine called Safety and Health. The magazine is associated with the National Safety Council.
The article (copy enclosed), which relates to welding safety, appeared in the April 1991 issue. The statement was made that there are two people involved in the lockout procedure. The article mentions the employee who puts the lock on and the foreman who takes it off.
This statement does not meet the intent of 29 CFR 1910.147(e)(3) which requires the person who applied the lock to be the one to remove it. the only exception to this is when the employee who applied the lock is not available to remove it. This would be in a case of illness, temporary absence from the job, etc. When this does occur, then only management may remove the lock, but only after certain requirements are met, as outlined 29 CFR 1910.147(e)(3)(i),(ii), and (iii). (copy enclosed)
We contacted the magazine to point out the mistake in the article, and to advise them that a request for correction would be made.
The corrections request can be made to:
Editor - Safety & Health Magazine
National Safety Council
444 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Telefax # (312) 527-9381
If you need further information from us, you may call Jeff Finch of my staff at 523-8031.
Your attention to this matter is appreciated.