Printreg Archive
Re: Lock-out/tag-out enforcement of press cleaning

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Date: Fri Apr 28 2000 - 10:23:08 CDT


The entire issue of LO/TO and press cleaning has never really been completely
clarified by OSHA. The printing industry has been able to obtain some
clarification relative to most procedures from OSHA and it is contained in a
letter from 1992.

Essentially the letter allows presses to not be locked out during most minor
operations which include cleaning operations, plate changes, webbing,
clearing of certain types as long as the equipment does not have to be
disassembled, blanket changing (on litho presses) of paper jams by using the
inch-safe-service method in conjunction with appropriate press control drives
(e.g., warning and signaling, stop button, etc.) as specified in ANSI B65.1.

The above approach works well when cleaning or servicing the press does not
occur when it is moving. There have been problems with when equipment needs
to be cleaned when it is moving, especially blankets on litho presses. There
have been citations and challenges and to make a long story short, there
appears to be three options for hand cleaning blankets. They are as follows:

1. Clean the blankets using the inch-safe-service method. The presses will
have to be configured to meet ANSI B65.1.

2. Clean moving blankets by using a specially designed tool and used
according to a procedure and special conditions.

3. Clean moving blankets by using a shop towel carefully folded and only on
presses equipped with fixed and rigid nip guards that meet or exceed the
requirements in Table O-10 of 29 CFR 1910.212. The guards are designed to
prevent fingers/hand from being drawn into any in-going nip points or from
otherwise being injured. This approach will require you to seek a
site-specific letter of interpretation that will have to be issued by your
local OSHA office.

I have prepared a much more detailed discussion of this topic in a
"discussion paper" along with appropriate OSHA interpretations. Let me have
your address and I will send it along.

Gary Jones
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation
200 Deer Run Road
Sewickley, PA 15143
412/741-6860 x608 - Phone
412/741-2311 - Fax

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