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Periodic Inspections of Lockout-Tagout Procedures

MIOSHA regulations mandate lockout/tagout documentation and also require periodic inspections of energy control procedures. According to MIOSHA News, "employers must conduct an inspection at least annually to review the energy control procedures for equipment and machines involved in the lockout-tagout program. "Authorized employees other than the employees utilizing the procedures must perform these inspections.

MIOSHA News, Winter 2002, lists these guidelines for Lockout/Tagout Procedures Inspection:

Inspections should include review of procedures between the inspector, authorized employee, and any affected employees. This review should cover the following concerns:

  • Current energy control methods
  • Correct energy source identification
  • Proper lockout device usage
  • Release of stored energies
  • Employee responsibilities and procedures used
  • Employee complaints about the lockout/tagout program

These inspections must include a review of each authorized employee implementing the lockout procedures. A group meeting between the inspector and all authorized employees who implement the procedures is acceptable.

In addition, review of tagout procedures must be conducted with the employee authorized to perform the tagout and all employees identified as "affected" in the standard.

Energy control procedures used less frequently than once a year should be inspected when they are used.

Employers must certify that inspections have been performed. Certification must include:

  • Names of employees
  • Date
  • Inspector
  • Machine or equipment on which procedures are performed

Should the inspection reveal deficiencies in performance or if procedures have changed, employees must be retrained. The standard requires the employer to provide retraining whenever the employer believes there are deviations from or inadequacies in employees' knowledge of energy control procedures.

Help establishing or strengthening your company lockout/tagout program is available on-site and at no cost from Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division at 517 322-1809. Sample inspection and training forms are available from MIOSHA in the Lockout-Tagout Compliance Guide, SP-27.

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