- Record Type: Interpretation
- Standard Number: 1910.147
- Subject: The control of hazardous
- Information Date:1996
October 2, 1996
Mr. William J. Hudnall
Deputy Administrator for Administrative Management
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety Inspection Service Administrative
Management Room 347E
J.L. Whitten Federal Building
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250
Dear Mr. Hudnall:
This is in response to your September 11
letter requesting that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) review four documents the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food
Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) believes will bring their agency
into compliance with the OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.147, The control
of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout). These documents are:
(1) the June 19, 1996, FSIS
Directive 4791.11, entitled, "Lockout/Tagout Safety Awareness Assessment
(2) the booklet entitled,
"Lockout/Tagout Lesson Plan for Inspectors,"
(3) the training video, "U.S.D.A.
Lockout/Tagout" dated 5/96, and
(4) the booklet, "Lockout
Tagout Pocket Guide" published and distributed by Genium Publishing
Corporation, Schenectady, NY.
OSHA does not accept FSIS's use of the
aforementioned documents to delegate its responsibility for the
safety and health to its employees or to on-site employers (and
their employees) at facilities undergoing FSIS required inspections.
Under the lockout/tagout standard, FSIS, as an employer, must provide
for the safety and health of its employees when performing inspections
(which are considered servicing and maintenance activities) at worksites.
Also, when FSIS employees are engaged in inspection activities covered
by the lockout/tagout standard, the on-site employer must comply
with paragraph 1910.147(f)(2).
OSHA believes that FSIS and the onsite
employer can meet their responsibilities under the standard by establishing
a joint energy control program that incorporates the group lockout
or tagout provisions under paragraph 1910.147(f)(3). Supplemental
group lockout/tagout guidelines are the subject of Appendix C, OSHA
Instruction STD 1-7.3 (copy enclosed). Appendix C identifies group
lockout or tagout scenarios. In each of these scenarios, servicing
and maintenance personnel use an energy control procedure that affords
employees a level of protection equivalent to that provided by the
implementation of a personal lock or tag. Each employee, considered
an authorized employee as defined under paragraph 1910.147(b), has
exclusive control of energy isolating devices during servicing and
maintenance of machines or equipment.
Enclosed are our specific review comments
on each document provided to us. We recommend that FSIS revisit
their belief that on-site employers should be responsible for the
safety of FSIS inspectors while they are preforming pre-operational
sanitation inspections. We request that FSIS immediately discontinue
the implementation of their FSIS Directive 4791.11 and their training
package. This program has created undue concern to your customers,
confusion to FSIS inspectors, and increased complaints to OSHA.
We request that the agency prepare an abatement
action plan for those locations (see enclosed list) that have received
OSHA Notices of Unsafe or Unhealthful Working Conditions and/or
OSHA Notices of Failure-to-Abate Alleged Violations of the Lockout/Tagout
Standard. This plan should be submitted to OSHA by October 25, 1996.
Please contact my office at 202-219-9329 ext. 170 should you have
John E. Plummer, Director
Office of Federal Agency Programs