ANSI/ASSE Z244.1-2003 (R2008) Background Materials

The standard “Control of Hazardous Energy—Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods” (ANSI/ASSE Z244.1-2003 (R2008)) establishes requirements and performance objectives for procedures, techniques, designs and methods that protect personnel where injury can occur as a result of the unexpected release of hazardous energy. Unexpected release of hazardous energy can include any unintended motion, energization, startup or release of stored energy, deliberate or otherwise, from the perspective of the person(s) at risk.

Past versions of this standard include:

  • Z244.1-2003 (R2008) (reaffirmed)
  • ANSI/ASSE Z244.1-2003 (new version)
  • Z244.1-1993 (reaffirmed)
  • Z244.1-1982 (new version)
  • Z244.1-1970 (new version)

The Z244 Accredited Standards Committee plans to revise the ANSI/ASSE Z244.1-2003 (R2008) standard in 2010.

Below is Section 1 of the standard:

Introduction

This standard provides guidance regarding:

  • Responsibilities of the principal parties involved in hazardous energy control (Section 3)
  • Design issues that influence the effective application of control methodology (Section 4)
  • Hazardous energy control program elements necessary for employee protection (5.3)
  • Alternative methods development for tasks that are routine, repetitive and integral to the production process
    or where traditional lockout/tagout prohibits the completion of those tasks (5.4)
  • Special applications where traditional methods of hazardous energy control are inappropriate or impractical (5.3.10)
  • Communication and training requirements for involved personnel (5.5)
  • Management review of the total hazardous energy control process to ensure its functioning effectiveness (5.6)

The standard provides for decision-making flexibility regarding hazardous energy control methodology. Alternative methods, when used, are based upon risk assessment and application of the classic hazard control hierarchy (5.4.2). However, lockout/tagout continues to be emphasized as the primary hazardous energy control approach.

I. Scope, Purposes & Application

1.1 Scope. This standard establishes requirements for the control of hazardous energy associated with machines, equipment or processes that could cause injury to personnel.

1.2 Purpose. The purpose of this standard is to establish requirements and performance objectives for procedures, techniques, designs and methods that protect personnel where injury can occur as a result of the unexpected release of hazardous energy. Unexpected release of hazardous energy can include any unintended motion, energization, startup or release of stored energy, deliberate or otherwise, from the perspective of the person(s) at risk.

Lockout/tagout is the primary method of hazardous energy control. When the tasks specified in 1.3 are routine, repetitive and integral to the production process or traditional lockout/tagout prohibits the completion of those tasks, alternative methods of control that are based on risk assessment (5.4.1) and that provide effective personal protection shall be used.

Note: Tasks that are routine, repetitive and integral to production generally exhibit most of the following characteristics:

  • Short in duration
  • Relatively minor in nature
  • Occur frequently during the shift, day or week
  • Usually performed by operators, setup, service or maintenance personnel
  • Do not involve extensive disassembly
  • Represent predetermined cyclical activities
  • Expected to occur regularly
  • Minimally interrupt the production process
  • Exist even when optimal operating levels are achieved
  • Require task-specific personnel training

The reason for intervention (i.e., perform the task) is to sustain the machine, equipment or process continuity within the nominal performance range and output quality. This usually occurs when the machine, equipment or process is operating normally and the need for periodic service or adjustment is predictable based on operating experience and product demands.

Each user should inventory and examine all tasks deemed to be “routine, repetitive and integral to production” and determine if they possess the above characteristics before proceeding in the development of alternative methods based on risk assessment. If the tasks do not substantially conform, then lockout/tagout should be used.

This document is a performance standard and, as such, is not intended to limit or restrict the use of other existing specific standards and procedures that meet the performance objectives defined in this standard and provide an equivalent level of personal protection from exposure to hazardous energy.

1.3 Application. This standard applies to, but is not limited to, activities such as erecting, installing, constructing, repairing, adjusting, inspecting, unjamming, setting up, troubleshooting, testing, cleaning, dismantling, servicing and maintaining machines, equipment or processes.

This standard does not apply to work on cord- and plug-connected electric equipment for which exposure to the hazards of unexpected energization or startup of the equipment is controlled by the unplugging of the equipment from the energy source and by the plug being under the exclusive control of the individual performing the servicing or maintenance.

This standard does not apply to hot tap operations involving transmission and distribution systems for substances such as gas, steam, water or petroleum products when they are performed on pressurized pipelines, provided the user demonstrates that (1) continuity of service is essential, (2) shutdown of the system is impractical and (3) documented procedures are followed and that special equipment is used which, will provide proven effective protection for individuals.

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