When the Lockout/Tagout Standard Does Not Apply
OSHA’s lockout/tagout standard applies to general industry employers with employees engaged in machine service and maintenance activities. However, there are exceptions to the rule. The standard does not apply in situations when:
- Exposure to hazardous energy is controlled completely by unplugging the equipment from an electric outlet and where the employee doing the service has exclusive control of the plug.
- An employee performs hot-tap operations on pressurized pipelines that distribute gas, steam, water or petroleum products, for which the employer shows the following: 1) continuity of service is essential; 2) shutdown of the system is impractical; and 3) the employee follows documented procedures and uses special equipment that provides proven, effective employee protection.
- The employee is performing minor tool changes or other minor servicing activities that are routine, repetitive and integral to production and that occur during normal production operations. In these cases, employees must have effective alternative protection.