Employees can be seriously or fatally injured if machinery they service or maintain unexpectedly energizes, starts up, or releases stored energy. OSHA's standard on the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), found in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910.147, spells out the steps employers must take to prevent accidents associated with hazardous energy. The standard addresses practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery and prevent the release of potentially hazardous energy while maintenance or servicing activities are performed.
Two other OSHA standards also contain energy control provisions: 29 CFR 1910.269 and 1910.333. In addition, some standards relating to specific types of machinery contain deenergization requirements—such as 29 CFR 1910.179(l)(2)(i)(c) (requiring the switches to be "open and locked in the open position" before performing preventive maintenance on overhead and gantry cranes).2 The provisions of Part 1910.147 apply in conjunction with these machine-specific standards to assure that employees will be adequately protected against hazardous energy.