Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.147

October 2, 1996

Mr. William J. Hudnall
Deputy Administrator for Administrative Management
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Safety Inspection Service Administrative
Management Room 347E
J.L. Whitten Federal Building
1400 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20250

Dear Mr. Hudnall:

This is in response to your September 11 letter requesting that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) review four documents the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) believes will bring their agency into compliance with the OSHA Standard, 29 CFR 1910.147, The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout). These documents are:

(1) the June 19, 1996, FSIS Directive 4791.11, entitled, "Lockout/Tagout Safety Awareness Assessment Procedures,"

(2) the booklet entitled, "Lockout/Tagout Lesson Plan for Inspectors,"

(3) the training video, "U.S.D.A. Lockout/Tagout" dated 5/96, and

(4) the booklet, "Lockout Tagout Pocket Guide" published and distributed by Genium Publishing Corporation, Schenectady, NY.

OSHA does not accept FSIS's use of the aforementioned documents to delegate its responsibility for the safety and health to its employees or to on-site employers (and their employees) at facilities undergoing FSIS required inspections. Under the lockout/tagout standard, FSIS, as an employer, must provide for the safety and health of its employees when performing inspections (which are considered servicing and maintenance activities) at worksites. Also, when FSIS employees are engaged in inspection activities covered by the lockout/tagout standard, the on-site employer must comply with paragraph 1910.147(f)(2).

OSHA believes that FSIS and the onsite employer can meet their responsibilities under the standard by establishing a joint energy control program that incorporates the group lockout or tagout provisions under paragraph 1910.147(f)(3