ANSI Z244.1

Control of Hazardous Energy: Lockout/Tagout & Alternative Methods

If you are considering bypassing Lockout/Tagout (LOTO), or trying to find ways to increase production and LOTO is causing frequent or severe production delays, you need to look at this standard. You should be aware that this is not OSHA’s favorite standard.

OSHA Mandates & Directions

Reading of OSHA 1910-147 is mandatory before any serious attempt at employing this standard. Minor Servicing with power applied is a key issue in this standard. Like 1910-147, Z244.1 emphasizes that any alternative to LOTO must only be used if the task is:

  • Repetitive
  • Routine
  • Integral to the process

This standard covers machines, equipment and processes in which the unexpected energization or start-up of the machines or equipment, release of stored energy or the actions of persons could result in harm.

ANSI/ASSE Z244.1 – 2016 – The Control Of Hazardous Energy Lockout/Tagout And Alternative Methods – Review

It establishes requirements for the control of hazardous energy associated with machines, equipment or processes that could cause harm to personnel. The standard specifies the use of lockout/Tagout (primary method) or alternative methods to control hazardous energy associated with machines, equipment or processes that could cause harm to personnel.

This applies to activities such as erecting, installing, constructing, repairing, adjusting, inspecting, unjamming, set up, testing, troubleshooting, cleaning, dismantling, servicing and maintaining machines, equipment or processes. It provides guidance regarding:

  • Responsibilities of the principal parties involved in hazardous energy control (clause 4);
  • Design issues that influence the effective application of control methodology (clause 5);
  • Hazardous energy control program elements necessary for employee protection (clause 6);
  • Communication and training requirements for involved personnel (clause 6.4);
  • Hazardous energy program review to ensure its effectiveness (clause 6.5);
  • Hazardous energy control methods (clause 7);
  • Alternative methods development for tasks where traditional lockout or tagout prohibits the completion of those tasks (clause 8); and
  • Special applications where typical methods of hazardous energy control are inappropriate or not practicable (clause 8.4).


The standard provides for decision-making flexibility regarding hazardous energy control methodology. Alternative methods, when used, are based upon risk assessment and application of the classic hazard control hierarchy (clause 8.1.2). However, lockout continues to be emphasized as the primary hazardous energy control method.The new version of ANSI Z244.1 will help companies better define their need for alternative methods.  The latest version still emphasizes that work should be done without power being applied to the machine(s) involved, but describes the measures appropriate for providing needed safety using comparisons and guidance for selecting those measures.

An important aspect to be considered here; risk assessment should be considered mandatory before considering using any alternative measures.  This standard follows the increased emphasis that current safety standards place on risk assessment.  You should not consider using any aspect of Z244.1 without conducting a risk assessment.

If you have further questions regarding ANSI Z244.1, contact us today for help.