OSHA Red Tags

OSHA Red tag procedures are implemented when workers are exposed to “hazards from power sources or injuries from moving equipment”. Anytime workers are required to work around equipment or machinery at heights without safety guards or emergency-stop devices, the lockout regulations apply.

OSHA Safety Color Codes can then apply to both equipment, exterior walkways or temporary platform or scaffolding to stand on and perform work above ground level.

Scaffolding rigging or exterior walkway design requires proper assembly by law for fall protection. A three-colored tag system notifies bystanders and workers of the status of the fall protection devices such as scaffolding.

OSHA Safety Color Codes

  • Green – Fall protection equipment is safe for its intended use.
  • Yellow — Fall protection construction does not to meet specific work conditions or requirements. All attempts should be made to restore a yellow tag to a green tag as soon as is practicable.
  • Red — Fall protection is unfit for use.

Requirements

Green tags are placed after construction has been inspected and approved. Yellow tags must list the modifications required, preventive measures reducing risk to workers, and the name of the individual or representative responsible for modification of the scaffolding or other fall protection. Red tags state “DANGER — UNFIT FOR USE”, and list the reason for the red tag, the number and name and date of the inspection.

Regulation

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the indicted agency for ensuring standards for the proper erection, modification and dismantling of scaffolding or other fall protection.

Considerations

According to OSHA, a competent person must inspect the fall protection equipment before placing the appropriate tag. “By way of training and/or experience, a competent person is knowledgeable of applicable standards, is capable of identifying workplace hazards relating to the specific operation, and has the authority to correct them. Some standards add additional specific requirements which must be met by the competent person.”

However, there are currently no specific standards regarding competent persons. Read more about OSAH definitions of competent persons.

Consider hiring a safety services team or structural engineer if your exterior or rooftop equipment is red tagged.

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