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OSHA Changes to Lockout/Tagout Rule Overreach or Overdue?

10.6.16

The article, “OSHA Changes to Lockout/Tagout Rule Overreach or Overdue?” featured on Bloomberg BNA, discussed why OSHA's new proposal to revise the lockout/tagout standard shouldn't be included in its ongoing rulemaking covering several diverse standards.

Ed Foulke told Bloomberg BNA the change the Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants doesn't meet the requirement that the proposed revisions in Standard Improvement Project-Phase IV (SIP IV) be noncontroversial.

The lockout/tagout rule requires employers to have safety systems in place to prevent workers from being injured by machinery that starts operating without anticipation.

The SIP (RIN:1218-AC67) covers 18 revisions OSHA wants to make to its rules. The lockout/tagout change is just one.

According to OSHA, the SIP process is intended to “remove outdated, duplicative, unnecessary, and inconsistent requirements” in OSHA standards.

The proposed lockout/tagout revision doesn't meet that threshold, Ed said.

Also, using the SIP process ignores court decisions on the lockout/tagout rule that have guided OSHA and employers for more than two decades.

“You've got 21 years of case law where it has been the precedent,” said Ed, who served as OSHA administrator during the George W. Bush administration.

If today's OSHA administrators want to change the lockout/tagout rule, the agency should start a separate rulemaking, take comments and hold a hearing, Ed said.

To read the full article, please visit Bloomberg BNA.

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