OSHA Quiz: Is a Combination Lock Acceptable for Performing Lockout?

Scenario:  You have been hired as the new safety manager for a machine shop operation.  During the first few weeks, you are out on the plant floor with the maintenance manager reviewing the company’s energy control program.  You observe a maintenance person perform some servicing work on a piece of machinery.  You notice the lock he applies to the energy isolating device is a combination type lock and not a keyed lock.  You ask the maintenance manager about this.  To your surprise, he states that all their lockout locks are a combination type, and the previous safety manager had no problem with this and in fact supported the practice.

Question:  Is the maintenance manager correct in his belief that a combination type lock is acceptable for lockout/tagout? Or, is the company going to need to replace all the locks with keyed type locks and train all the employees about this change?

Answer:  If you read the definitions in 1910.147 (b), you will see the following:  Lockout device.  A device that utilizes a positive means such as a lock, either key or combination type, to hold an energy isolating device in the safe position and prevent the energizing of a machine or equipment. Included are blank flanges and bolted slip blinds.


Can you use Lockout Locks for other purposes?

OSHA Quiz – Lockout Lock Used For Other Purposes