NIOSH testimony on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed rule on electrical safety-related work practices by R. W. Niemeier, October 11, 1988.
This testimony summarized the concerns of NIOSH regarding the safety of electrical workers. NIOSH has developed a new policy based on analysis of the Fatal Accident Circumstances and Epidemiology (FACE) reports specifically relating to electrical hazards. The new policy states that tagging should not be allowed as a substitute for a lock where the disconnecting device is not within the immediate physical vicinity of the worker involved. OSHA should require the upgrading of equipment and circuits to lockout capability within a reasonable time frame. When lockout is not possible, tagout procedures are acceptable only when the employer can demonstrate that a tagout program, including training, adequate supervision, and controlled access to the energy isolating device is as safe as a lockout procedure.