One of the main challenges of a paper on a copyrighted standard is to provide some useful information without violating the copyright. By necessity, this paper will be brief.

ANSI Z244 began in 1973. The initial Secretariat was the National Safety Council. Standard development work was completed in 1975; however, due to procedural issues, the final standard was not released until March of 1982. In 1987, the standard was reaffirmed without changes. In April 1988 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released the proposed rule 1910.147 with ANSI Z244 as the principal reference source. The current Secretariat for the standard is the American Society of Safety Engineers.

The unexpected release of hazardous energy continues to be a major occupational safety issue. Despite the efforts of many stakeholders involved with this issue, deaths and injuries continue at unacceptably high levels.

All forms of stored, potentially hazardous, energy must be addressed.

Advances in technology have required that additional approaches be developed to control hazardous energy.

Voluntary Use

ANSI standards generally do not have the force of law. They can, and in some cases have been, adopted by reference but this is not the most common situation. While adopting or not adopting the standard as a guide for an organization's hazardous energy control process is entirely voluntary; if an organization does decide to adopt it then the required elements must be treated as mandatory.


The standard is published using a one-column format. Required elements of the standard are provided in the main body of the standard. Explanatory elements are listed in the annexes.


The first chapter covers scope, purpose, and application.

The second chapter contains definitions. Definitions are typically provided in standards when clarification is required beyond the standard dictionary definition.

The third chapter covers responsibilities.

The fourth chapter discusses design issues.

The fifth chapter covers the hazardous energy control program.

Scope, Purpose and the Application

The purpose of the standard is to protect personnel from injury and death that may result from the unexpected release of hazardous energy. Lockout/tagout is the primary method of hazardous energy control. Based upon risk assessment, some alternative methods of control are permitted. This is a performance-based standard and is not intended to limit or restrict the use of other procedures that meet the performance objectives.

Generally, the standard is intended to apply to any activity were the hazardous release of energy could cause injury or death. Two specific exceptions are provided: cord-and-plugconnect electrical bedroom is not intended to be covered, and hot tap operations are not covered.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.