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Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.147

August 2, 2012

Mr. Mitch Yoffe
Strivezero, Inc.
4250 21st Street
San Francisco, California 94114

Dear Mr. Yoffe:

This correspondence is in response to your April 30, 2012, letter to OSHA concerning OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.147 Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) standard. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements discussed in your correspondence and the subsequent email and telephone communications and may not be applicable to any question not delineated by that communication.

Your paraphrased question and our reply follow:

Question: Is the language of OSHA's requirements under 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(3)(i) correct or should the word "not" be inserted as follows?

1910.147(c)(3)(i): When a tagout device is used on an energy isolating device which is [not] capable of being locked out, the tagout device shall be attached at the same location that the lockout device would have been attached, and the employer shall demonstrate that the tagout program will provide a level of safety equivalent to that obtained by using a lockout program.

Response: No. The language of §1910.147(c)(3)(i)is correct. For an understanding of the requirements for lockout and tagout of energy isolating devices that "are" and "are not" "capable of being locked out," please refer to the preamble discussions regarding paragraph (c)(3), as well as paragraphs (c)(2)(i) and (c)(2)(ii) at 54 FR 36669-36670. (For your reference, we are including a copy of the Control of Hazardous Energy Source (Lockout/Tagout; Final Rule, dated September 1, 1989 (54 FR 36644-36695).)

As you may be aware, the State of California operates its own occupational safety and health program under a plan approved by Federal OSHA. Under this plan, the California Department of Industrial Relations administers the California Occupational Safety and Health Program, commonly referred to as Cal/OSHA. The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) is the principal executor of the plan which oversees enforcement and consultation.

California often adopts standards that differ from the Federal, though any different standards must be at least as effective as OSHA's. State Plans must interpret an identical state standard in a manner consistent with OSHA's interpretation (and/or appropriate appellate court decisions), and a different standard in a manner at least as effective as OSHA's.

Cal/OSHA has jurisdiction over most places of employment in California. Cal/OSHA standards and other information are posted on its website at http://www.dir.ca.gov/doshl. You may also contact:

Ellen Widess, Chief Cal/OSHA
California Department of Industrial Relations
1515 Clay Street, Ste. 1901
Oakland, CA 94612
PH: (510) 286-7000

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 the 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. In addition, 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 further questions, please feel free to contact Bob Isiminger, Office of General Industry and Agricultural Enforcement, at 202-693-1899 in order that he may further discuss OSHA's control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout) standard with you.


Thomas Galassi, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

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