OSHA 1910.147 as a reference for LOTO procedures

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA, in the years ’88/’89, formalized and issued a general standard, namely the 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.147, which sets out the criteria and work practices to be implemented to prevent the risk of unexpected start-up.

Field of application

The standard addresses the practices and Lockout/Tagout Procedures that employers should undertake to disable machinery and prevent the release of potentially hazardous energy while performing maintenance activities, thereby preventing accidents.


According to the Regulations, the employer, by issuing procedures, requires that a designated person:

  • Turn off and disconnect the machine from its power sources before performing maintenance
  • Lock or label isolation devices to prevent the release of hazardous energy, taking measures to effectively verify the isolation
  • Take measures to prevent injuries that may result from the release of stored energy


For further information:


The regulations state that workers performing service or maintenance activities during production operations must follow Lockout/Tagout procedures when:

  • Removing or bypassing machine guards or other safety devices
  • Placing any part of the body in an area of a machine or equipment where work is actually being performed on the material being processed
  • Positioning any part of the body where there is an associated danger zone during a cycle of machine operation


dispositivi lockout tagout

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Exclusions and exception

They following are excluded from the field of application of OSHA Regulation 1910.147:

  • The world of construction or agriculture
  • Plants under the exclusive control of electric utilities whose purpose is the generation, transmission, and distribution of energy


In addition, the standard does not apply to general industry service and maintenance activities when:

1) Exposure to hazardous energy is controlled by disconnecting the equipment from an electrical outlet, and the employee performing maintenance has sole control of the plug. This applies only if electricity is the only hazardous form of energy.

2) An employee performs repair operations on pressurized pipelines distributing gas, steam, water, or petroleum products, for which the employer shows that:

  • Continuity of service is essential
  • System shutdown is not practical
  • The employee follows documented procedures and uses special equipment that provides proven and effective protection


3) An employee performs minor tool modifications or other maintenance activities that can be defined as “routine, repetitive, and an integral part of production and that occur during normal operations.” In such cases, employees should be provided with equally effective alternative protection to LOTO.


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