Employees operating, repairing or maintaining machines or equipment face serious injury risks if hazardous energy is not properly controlled. It explains how to apply three different methods, lockout primary method , tagout or alternative methods, to activities such as constructing, installing, repairing, adjusting, inspecting, unjamming, testing, troubleshooting, cleaning and dismantling machines, equipment or processes. The unexpected release of hazardous energy from machines, equipment and processes can injure workers, damage property and disrupt business operations. By using these standards, safety professionals and employers can protect workers from the unexpected energization or start-up of machines or equipment, and prevent the release of stored energy.

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Examples of alternative methods technology include key-controlled locks, control switches, interlocked guards, and remote devices and disconnects.

It also can mean locking out only a section of a piece of equipment rather than the entire machine. ANSI makes it clear that LOTO should be used unless the user can demonstrate that a well-established alternative method will provide effective protection. In situations in which the task is not well understood or risk-assessed, lockout should be the default protective measure applied to control machinery or processes.

Section 8. In addition, alternative risk-reduction methodology is covered in detail specific to a number of new technologies, including the packaging, pharmaceutical, plastics, printing and steel industries; semiconductor and robotic applications; and others challenged by the current regulatory limitations. At this point, it would be appropriate to underscore that LOTO provides the greatest level of protection, and, whenever possible, it should be used to protect employees from hazardous energy.

In addition, CFR By using standard safety-rated devices — such as interlock gates and e-stop buttons — a plant manager can achieve safe, reliable machine access that replaces standard LOTO procedures without violating OSHA requirements. Implementing alternative procedures to ensure equivalent protection for specific tasks can enhance productivity without endangering employees.

Editor's note: This article represents the independent views of the author and should not be construed as a National Safety Council endorsement.


Lockout, Tagout and Alternative Methods (Z244.1)

This standard establishes requirements and specifies the use of lockout primary method , tagout or alternative methods for the control of hazardous energy associated with machines, equipment or processes that could cause harm to personnel. Your Alert Profile lists the documents that will be monitored. If the document is revised or amended, you will be notified by email. You may delete a document from your Alert Profile at any time. This standard is also available to be included in Standards Subscriptions. Standards Subscriptions from ANSI provides a money-saving, multi-user solution for accessing standards.


Tag: ANSI Z244.1

Hazardous energy — whether deriving from electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, or thermal sources in machinery and equipment — is the basis of a longstanding issue in many industries. Throughout the past 50 years, in acknowledgement of the high frequency of casualties related to the unexpected release of hazardous energy and related machine start-ups, substantial measures have been taken by employers, unions, trade associations, and government to mitigate accidents. However, despite these efforts, the annual injuries and fatalities caused from hazardous energy release has remained alarmingly high. Specifically, it does this by establishing lockout, tagout, or alternative methods to control the hazardous energy. It is applicable to many activities, including erecting, installing, constructing, repairing, adjusting, inspecting, unjamming, set up, testing, troubleshooting, cleaning, dismantling, servicing, and maintaining machines, equipment, or processes. At the core of these specifications is the user and the supplier of the machinery, and the interaction between these two groups determines the success of the lockout system.


Alternative measures for lockout/tagout

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. November 10, Mr. Edward V.


ANSI/ASSE Z244.1-2016: Control of Hazardous Energy: Lockout


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