The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has announced that the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved the reaffirmation of the American National Standard ANSI Z244.1-2003 (R2008) ‘Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods,’ which aims to protect workers from hazardous energy associated with machines, equipment or processes that could cause injury.
The standard establishes requirements and performance objectives for procedures, techniques, designs and methods that protect workers where injury can occur due to unexpected releases of hazardous energy. An unexpected release of hazardous energy includes any unintended motion, start-up or release of stored energy, deliberate or otherwise, from the perspective of the person at risk.
“A great deal of technical development and capabilities have evolved since the 1982 edition of the standard,” said Jeff Fryman, Z244 Committee vice chairman. “These new technologies make the control of hazardous energy both more complex and easier to achieve. It is more complex because the traditional ‘zero energy state’ lockout situation may not be achievable, or desirable, and it is easier because the technology offers more solutions to control hazardous energy release through new devices and circuit designs. In my opinion, the greatest offering in the standard is the information on the use of ‘alternative methods’ to control hazardous energy. Based on the results of risk assessment, workers are afforded more protection and flexibility in performing necessary tasks on machines, equipment and processes.”