When servicing is performed by a crew, department, team of contractors or other group, every worker must be protected by lockout/tagout. To make sure that each worker is safe, use a step by step process which gives every worker the same level of protection as if they were working independently.
Properly setting up lockout and tagout for equipment prevents injuries to the workers who are servicing, repairing, or adjusting the equipment. Group lockout/tagout procedures can be different and may be site-specific depending on the company, project, or job site however, only trained and authorized workers can perform the work under lockout/tagout.
OSHA Standard 1910.147(f)(3)(i) When servicing and/or maintenance is performed by a crew, craft, department or other group, they shall utilize a procedure which affords the employees a level of protection equivalent to that provided by the implementation of a personal lockout or tagout device.
Whenever possible group lockout/tagout procedures will require that each individual attach their assigned lock to the energy-isolating device. Lockout hasps, latches, clasps or similar devices should be used whenever possible so that each worker can be protected using their own locks and tags. However, when this is not possible due to a large group or the design or location of the energy-isolating device then a group lockout/tagout may be necessary.
Group lockout/tagout steps could include:
- Choose a single representative for each team, department, company, or contractor organization.
- Assign locks/tags and for each person in each group, as well as for the team representative.
- Follow normal lockout/tagout procedures and have the team representative use the team’s lock and tag.
- Place the team key inside of the lock-box. A lock-box or other device is used to hold the single key that is attached to the equipment to be locked out.
- Each team member uses their lock and tag on the lock-box. This ensures that the equipment cannot be turned on until all locks are removed and every team member is safe.
OSHA Standard 1910.147(f)(3)(ii)(D) Each authorized employee shall affix a personal lockout or tagout device to the group lockout device, group lockbox, or comparable mechanism when he or she begins work, and shall remove those devices when he or she stops working on the machine or equipment being serviced or maintained.
When using a group lockout/tagout process, one authorized employee is designated with the primary responsibility for a specific number of other workers. All persons assigned to the representative are working under the protection of a group lockout and tag. A checklist should be used that has the name, identification number, and contact information for all workers in the group. Each person may be required to sign on the list to show they are present before they apply their lock and tag to the equipment or lock box.
OSHA Standard 1910.147(f)(3)(ii)(A) Primary responsibility is vested in an authorized employee for a set number of employees working under the protection of a group lockout or tagout device.
During the work, the authorized representative for the group must have a way to know the status of each person on the team or group.
After the work and before removal of the group lock and tag from the equipment, the responsible authorized employee must verify everyone in the group is counted.
Group lockout/tagout procedures may change depending on the specific site, project, or job, but in every situation only trained and authorized workers can perform the work under lockout/tagout.