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.

February 27, 1997

Ms. Jacqueline Nowell
United Food & Commercial Workers
International Union, AFL-CIO and CLC
1775 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-1598

Dear Ms. Nowell:

This is in response to your January 17 letter requesting interpretation of 29 CFR 1910.1020 (formerly 1910.20) and 1910.147 standards. Specifically, you requested clarification on whether you are entitled to a copy of energy control program documentation at a meat packing plant subject to the requirements of [29 CFR] 1910.147, the control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout).

An energy control procedure must be utilized for the control of potentially hazardous energy when employees are engaged in the activities covered by [29 CFR] 1910.147. Also, the employer must provide training in accordance with paragraph 1910.147(c)(7) to the authorized employee(s), the affected employee(s) and the other employees whose work operations are or may be in the area where an energy control procedure may be or is utilized. In particular, authorized employees must be trained in the specific energy control procedure applicable to their work, "the methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control." Clearly, such employees must have access to the procedures in which they are trained. Otherwise, we agree with you that employee(s) and designated representative(s) rights to access employer records are not addressed under [29 CFR] 1910.147. We acknowledge that [29 CFR] 1910.1020 may apply to some forms of hazardous (for example, reactive chemical) energy covered by [29 CFR] 1910.147. However, other forms of hazardous (for example, mechanical) energy covered by 1910.147 are not covered by 1910.1020.

With respect to hazardous energy covered by [29 CFR] 1910.1020 (and also covered by 1910.147), the employees and designated representatives have the right to access certain employee exposure and medical records, and analyses thereof. Since medical records include first aid and medical treatment records, there could conceivably be medical records relevant to the effectiveness of an employer's LO/TO program. However, such records would not include LO/TO procedures and associated documentation.

We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. If we can be of further assistance, please contact the Office of Safety Compliance Assistance, Mr. Ronald J. Davies, telephone (202) 219-8031, extension 110.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs