- Record Type: Interpretation
- Standard Number: 1910.147
- Subject: Lockout/tagout as applies
to contractor employers with employees at electric power generation,
transmission and distribution work sites.
- Information Date:1992
December 23, 1992
Mr. Henry R. Tessier
Boiler/Machinery Loss Prevention
Industrial Risk Insurers
85 Woodland Street
Hartford, Connecticut 06105-1226
Dear Mr. Tessier:
This is in response to your letter of April
14, regarding the applicability of 29 CFR 1910.147 lockout/tagout
standards to contractor employers with employees at electric power
generation, transmission and distribution work sites. The questions
you asked and the corresponding replies follow.
Does the exemption of 29
CFR 1910.147 for utilities, as described in the standard, apply
to non-utility firms performing work requiring lockout/tagout at
sites, such as utility plants, when the utility plants are not covered
by this standard?
As delineated in 1910.147(a)(1)(ii)(B),
installations under the exclusive control of electric utilities
for the purposes of power generation, transmission and distribution,
including related equipment for communications or metering, are
not covered by the 1910.147 lockout/tagout standard. In addition,
this standard does not apply to outside (contractor) employers whose
employees perform work at these installations. Installations that
are not under the exclusive control of electric utilities, or that
are not for one of the above specified purposes covered by 1910.147,
and outside (contractor) employers must comply. Although 1910.147(a)(1)(ii)(B)
does not cover certain installations, as noted previously, employers,
including contractors, may be cited under the general duty clause,
Section 5(a)(1), of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in situations
involving employee exposure to hazardous energy when performing
servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.
As noted on page 36660 of
the preamble to the Final Rule on the Control of Hazardous Energy
Source (Lockout/Tagout) published in the Federal Register,
Volume 54, Number 169 on Friday, September 1, 1989, the question
of how similar non-utility installations should be regulated is
an issue in the rulemaking proceeding on a new General Industry
section, 1910.269, "Electric Power Generation, Transmission and
Distribution" standard. Proposed rules on this new section were
published in the Federal Register, Volume 54, Number 14 on
Tuesday, January 31, 1989. Copies of these editions of the Federal
Register are enclosed for your information.
Does an on-site agency, such
as an utility, have the right to restrict or limit the use of lockout/tagout
procedures at their facility to only one procedure, specifically
their own, when multiple contractors with individual procedures
used by outside personnel (contractors, etc.) are covered by 1910.147(f)(2).
This standard requires on-site employers and outside employers to
inform each other of their respective lockout/tagout procedures.
Furthermore, an on-site employer is required to ensure that his
personnel understand and comply with restrictions and prohibitions
of the outside employer's energy control procedures. Outside employers
are not required to use on-site employer lockout/tagout procedures.
What, in your opinion, would
be IRI's (Industrial Risk Insurers) responsibility if an IRI loss
prevention person were injured while using a procedure other than
our own lockout/tagout procedure in the performance of an inspection
which was mandated by local jurisdictional regulations?
As an employer, (IRI) is
subject to occupational safety and health standards promulgated
by Federal or State agencies, depending on the State in which the
site is located. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) or State agency, as appropriate, may conduct workplace inspections
initiated by complaints, reports of accidents involving fatalities
and/or injuries to employees or other established inspection policy.
During these inspections, employers who are found to be in violation
of occupational safety and health multi-employer citation policy
citations could be issued to both the on-site employer and the contract
employer, depending on the circumstances.
Could an employee of one
firm utilize another firm's lockout/tagout procedure and meet the
requirements of 29 CFR 1910.147? What liability exposure do you
foresee for both firms in this situation?
Within the context of 1910.147(f)(2)
requirements, employees of outside employers, for example contractors,
could utilize the on-site employers lockout/tagout procedures when
these outside employees are trained in these procedures in compliance
with 1910.147(c)(7). The duties and liabilities of employers with
respect to providing for the safety and health of their employees
remains unchanged. An outside employer would be responsible and
could be held accountable, with respect to OSHA enforcement, for
injuries sustained by his or her employee's resulting from the use
of the on-site employer's energy control procedures, if determined
to be deficient, that is, not in compliance with 1910.147.
Since our utility insureds
are presently exempt from this procedure, when do you foresee implementation
if at all, of a lockout/tagout procedure which would cover their
industry? would IRI be able to review a draft of this document and
Final action with respect
to the enclosed proposed standard, Electric Power Generation, Transmission
and Distribution, is scheduled for July of 1993. Public Hearings
have been held and the periods for public comments have closed.
You can provide comments to OSHA; however, any comments you submit
may not be recorded as part of the rulemaking process unless the
rulemaking record is reopened. "Ex parte" communications are permitted
only when the rulemaking record is open.
Since 29 CFR 1910.147 specifies
that utility plants are presently exempt from this standard, would
independent power producers and electric power cogenerators be considered
a utility under this standard, since they produce electricity for
distribution to the utility distribution grid and utilize the same
type of equipment in generating that power?
Consideration is being given
to expanding the scope of the standard within the rulemaking procedure
to installations for the generation, transmission or distribution
of electric energy not owned or operated by electric utilities or
work performed on such installations not owned by a utility. This
potential expansion is discussed on page 4980 of the preamble to
the proposed rules referenced in the reply to question 5.
Was OSHA aware of the insurance
industry's involvement in the enforcement of boiler and pressure
vessel regulations and the impact 29 CFR 1910.147 would have on
the performance of these inspections prior to the development of
The Occupational Safety and
Health Administration was aware of the insurance industry's involvement
in the general servicing (inspection) of boiler and pressure vessels.
Outside personnel servicing which requires lockout/tagout is covered
by 29 CFR 1910.147(f)(2). As noted in the reply to question 2, servicing
which requires lockout/tagout is covered also by 1910.269(d)(8)(iv)
in the Proposed Rule on Electric Power Generation, Transmission
Thank you for your interest in occupational
safety and health. If we may be of further assistance, please contact
Roger A. Clark,
Directorate of Compliance Programs