Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.147(c)(6); 1910.147(c)(7)
• Status: Archived

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


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.


April 6, 2001

Don E. McCoy, CST
Industrial Safety Consultant Specialist
Bureau of Workers' Compensation
Division of Safety and Hygiene
400 3rd Street S.E.
Canton, OH 44702-1102

Dear Mr. McCoy:

Thank you for your December 8, 2000 letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) Directorate of Compliance Programs. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed and may not be applicable to any questions not delineated within your original correspondence. You had specific questions regarding the Control of Hazardous Energy Standard, 29 CFR §1910.147. Your questions and our reply follow:

Questions: Does 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(6) require that each authorized employee be involved with conducting the periodic inspection and the documentation as required in 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(6)(ii)? There may be six employees authorized to lockout a specific piece of equipment, for example, would each employee need to be evaluated with each periodic inspection? My understanding of this section is to evaluate the (energy control) procedure.

Reply: The periodic inspection is intended to assure that the energy control procedures are adequate and continue to be implemented properly and that the employees involved in the implementation of these procedures are familiar with their responsibilities. Thus, a periodic inspection must contain at least two components: an inspection of each energy control procedure and a review of each employee's responsibilities under the energy control procedure being inspected.

The inspection of an energy control procedure is not performed by each authorized employee. Instead, at least one authorized employee, who is not one of the authorized employees who uses the energy control procedure being inspected, conducts the inspection. The inspector must observe the implementation of the energy control procedure and must conduct a review of sufficient breadth to enable the inspector to detect, and to correct, any deviations from, or inadequacies in, the energy control procedure. An inspector may comply with this requirement by observing a representative number of authorized employees as they implement the energy control procedure.

In addition, where lockout is used for energy control, an inspector must review with every authorized employee, that employee's responsibilities under the energy control procedure being inspected. Where tagout is used for energy control, an inspector must review with every authorized employee and with every affected employee that employee's responsibilities under the energy control procedure being inspected and must also review the elements set forth in 29 CFR §1910.147(c)(7)(ii). The review must include all authorized employees (and affected employees when tagout is used), regardless of whether they were observed during the inspection process. Group meeting(s) between the authorized employee who is performing the inspection and all authorized employees (as well as affected employees when tagout is used) who implement the procedure would constitute compliance with these 29 CFR §1910.147(c)(6)(i)(C) and (D) requirements.

Finally, the employer is responsible for complying with the certification provisions of 29 CFR §1910.147(c)(6)(ii); there is no requirement that each authorized employee participate in certification activities.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. 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. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of General Industry Compliance Assistance at (202) 693-1850.

Sincerely,

Richard E. Fairfax, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs



Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - (Archived) Table of Contents