The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC) has held that OSHA lockout/tagout (LOTO) training requirements can be cited on a per-employee basis.
The decision comes after OSHA cited a company for lockout/tagout training and retraining violations on a per-employee basis with individual penalties assessed for each item. OSHRC concluded that both the initial LOTO training provision, §1910.147(c)(7)(i), and the retraining provision, §1910.147(c)(7)(iii)(B), are susceptible to per-employee citation. Accordingly, the Commission separately affirmed each of these items, and assessed individual penalties.
The Commission noted that the specific language of the cited initial training provision identifies the subject of the training obligation as “[e]ach authorized employee.” The plain language of the standard, therefore, imposes a specific duty on the employer to train each individual employee, the Commission said. Thus, regardless whether an employer chooses to provide required training to employees individually or collectively, the duty runs to each employee and, under the wording of the standard, any failure to train would be a separate abrogation of the employer’s duty to each untrained employee.
Similarly, the Commission found the cited retraining provision is also susceptible to per-employee citation, as it expressly identifies the need for individualized retraining based upon the employer’s awareness that a specific employee is performing lockout deficiently under the standard. In these circumstances, as with the initial training provision, the standard imposes a specific duty on the employer to retrain each individual employee who demonstrates deficiencies in his knowledge or use of energy control procedures, the Commission said. Moreover, the required retraining must specifically address each employee’s particular deficiencies.
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