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?