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• Publication Date: 05/29/1997
• Publication Type: Meeting
• Fed Register #: 62:29089-29090
• Standard Number: 1910.147
• Title: Notice of Public Meeting on Review of the Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/Tagout) Standard (29 CFR 1910.147)

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1910

[Docket No. S-012-B]

Notice of Public Meeting on Review of the Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/Tagout) Standard (29 CFR 1910.147)

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.


SUMMARY: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is conducting a review of the Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/Tagout) standard in order to determine, consistent with Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review and section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, whether this standard should be maintained without change, rescinded, or modified in order to make it more effective or less burdensome, consistent with the objectives of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The review will consider the application of Executive Order 12866 and the directive of the Regulatory Flexibility Act to achieve statutory goals with as little economic impact as possible on small employers.

Written public comments on all aspects of compliance with the Lockout/Tagout standard are welcomed. OSHA will also hold a stakeholder's meeting to provide an opportunity for interested parties to comment on whether the Lockout/Tagout standard should be eliminated, modified, or continued without change to obtain the objectives described above.

DATES: The public meeting will be held on Monday, June 30, 1997. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. and is scheduled to end at 4 p.m. Written comments should be received by August 1, 1997 in the OSHA Docket Office at the address given below.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held in Room N3437 of the Frances Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

Requests to Appear and Written Comments: OSHA requests that any person wishing to appear at the public meeting notify OSHA in writing. To assure that time is provided for oral comments, the request should be received by OSHA no later than Monday, June 23, 1997, and should identify the person and/or organization intending to appear, address and phone/fax number, the amount of time requested, and a brief summary of the comments to be presented. Please send written requests to appear to Nancy Dorris at the following address: Office of Regulatory Analysis, Directorate of Policy, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N3627, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, Telephone (202) 219-4690, extension 134, Fax (202) 219-4383. Written comments should be received by August 1, 1997 in the OSHA Docket Office, Room N2625, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, Telephone (202) 219-7894. All comments received from interested parties will be included in Docket S-012-B, and will be available for public review in the OSHA Docket Office.

Persons with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact Nancy Dorris, by Monday, June 23, 1997, at the address indicated below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy Dorris, Office of Regulatory Analysis, Directorate of Policy, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Room N3627, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, Telephone (202) 219-4690, extension 134, Fax (202) 219-4383.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In 1989, OSHA promulgated the Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/Tagout) Standard (29 CFR 1910.147) (54 FR 36644, Sept. 1, 1989). The standard applies to general industry employment under 29 CFR part 1910, but does not cover maritime, agriculture, or construction employment. The standard addresses practices and procedures that are necessary to disable machinery or equipment and to prevent the release of potentially hazardous energy while maintenance and servicing activities are being performed.

The Lockout/Tagout standard requires that lockout be utilized for equipment which is designed with a lockout capability except when the employer can demonstrate that utilization of tagout provides full employee protection. For equipment which was not designed to be locked out, the employer may use tagout. In addition, the standard also supplements and supports other lockout related provisions contained elsewhere in OSHA's general industry standards by requiring that comprehensive and uniform procedures be used to comply with those provisions. The standard contains definitive criteria for establishing an effective program for locking out or tagging out energy isolating devices and requires training for authorized and affected employees. The standard also requires the employer to implement the specified procedures and to utilize effective control measures based on the workplace hazards that are encountered.

OSHA estimated in the Final Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Lockout/Tagout standard that the rule would prevent 122 fatalities, 28,416 lost-workday injuries, and 31,926 non-lost-workday injuries annually. OSHA also estimated that the standard would have first-year costs of $214.3 million and annual costs of $135.4 million in successive years (54 FR 36644, Sept. 1, 1989).

In its supplemental statement of reasons for the standard (58 FR 16612, March 30, 1993), OSHA explained the statutory criteria that apply to safety standards rulemakings. The Agency must find, inter alia, that the standard eliminates or substantially reduces a significant risk of material harm, that compliance is economically and technologically feasible, that the standard employs the most cost-effective measures that will achieve its regulatory goals, and that the standard is supported by substantial evidence in the record. See International Union, UAW v. OSHA, 37 F.3d 664 (1994) (upholding criteria).

The purpose of the review is to determine whether the standard should be continued without change, rescinded, or amended to make it more effective or less burdensome, consistent with the objectives of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The review will consider the application of Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (58 FR 51735, 51739, Oct. 4, 1993) and the directive of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) to achieve statutory goals while imposing as little economic impact as possible on small employers. In the event the Agency determines, based on the results of this review, that the rule should be rescinded or modified, appropriate rulemaking will be initiated.

An important step in the review process involves the gathering and analysis of information from affected persons about their experience with the rule and any material changes in circumstances since issuance of the rule. This notice requests written comments and announces a public meeting to provide an opportunity for interested parties to comment on the continuing need for, adequacy or inadequacy, and potential improvement of this rule, consistent with statutory objectives. Comment concerning the following subjects would assist the Agency in determining whether to retain the standard unchanged or to initiate rulemaking for purposes of revision or rescission:

1. The benefits and utility of the rule in its current form and, if amended, in its amended form;

2. Whether potentially effective and reasonably feasible alternatives to the standard exist;

3. The continued need for the rule;

4. The complexity of the rule;

5. Whether and to what extent the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal, State, and local governmental rules;

6. Information on any new developments in technology, economic conditions, or other factors affecting the ability of affected firms to comply with the Lockout/Tagout rule;

7. Alternatives to the rule or portions of the rule that would minimize significant impacts on small businesses while achieving the objectives of the Occupational Safety and Health Act; and

8. The effectiveness of the standard as implemented by small entities.

Persons making timely written requests to speak at the public meeting will be given priority for oral comments, as time permits. Other persons wishing to speak should register at the meeting from 12:30 to 1:00. OSHA will make every effort to accommodate individuals wishing to speak at the public meeting.

Authority: This document was prepared under the direction of Gregory R. Watchman, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210.

Signed at Washington, DC, this 23rd day of May, 1997.

Gregory R. Watchman,
Acting Assistant Secretary.

[FR Doc. 97-14057 Filed 5-28-97; 8:45 am)


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