CfA Safety: Lockout/Tagout Program

A few Center for Astrophysics employees who service or maintain machines or equipment may be at risk of injury due to the unexpected startup, energization or release of stored energy from these machines. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has issued a safety standard to protect workers from this type of injury.

The OSHA standard, CFR 1910.147, Control of Hazardous Energy Sources (Lockout/tagout), details safety requirements for working with potentially hazardous energy sources. Under the standard, employers must develop a written program detailing procedures for disabling energy sources, provide training to involved employees, obtain standardized lockout/tagout devices and perform periodic audits of the program.

It should be noted that regular building maintenance and repair at CfA is not performed by Smithsonian employees, but by Harvard and other management agencies who are responsible for the lockout/tagout program for their employees and outside contractors.

The few S. I. employees to whom this standard will apply are:

  1. Those working in the labs and machine shops who maintain or repair high energy equipment that is hard-wired or where the equipment plug is not visible to the person working on the equipment,
  2. Some working on telescopes with revolving roofs, and
  3. Some working on antennae with motor controls.

For questions or concerns, or help with determining if this standard applies to anyone in your lab, please contact the Safety Office.


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