Procedure Requirements for Authorized Employees
Performing maintenance or servicing equipment can be dangerous to employees, so only authorized employees are allowed to perform maintenance or servicing of equipment. OSHA clearly defines who is an authorized employee, the responsibilities of an authorized employee, and who is an affected employee.
By OSHA lockout/tagout standards, an authorized employee is a person who locks or tags out equipment to perform servicing or maintenance.
The requirements for when a machine is required to be locked out include:
- If the employee is placing any part of his/her body into the equipment where work is being performed
- If any part of his/her body is in an associated danger zone
- If an employee bypasses a guard or other safety device, the machine must be locked out
- If an employee must do work on the equipment that is not routine, they are considered an authorized employee
Authorized employees are required to attend training on applicable hazardous energy, types, and magnitudes in the workplace. In the training, authorized employees learn how to perform lockout/tagout while servicing or performing maintenance. They need to know the proper steps for isolating and locking out energy sources and should be trained on methods for verifying the accuracy of the lockout.
Also, authorized employees need to understand how to perform a group lockout, handle shift change, and know what to do in other, special circumstances.
Deviation from the written lockout/tagout procedure is strictly prohibited under OSHA’s Control of Hazardous Energy standard.