Lockout/tagout procedures must be followed when performing hazardous maintenance or repairs on machines and equipment.

Certain and correct policies and procedures must taught to the employees and then followed in the workplace at all times when servicing or performing maintenance of any kind on machines or equipment.  Following the correct LOCKOUT/TAGOUT (LOTO) procedures help to avoid the "unexpected energization or start up of the machinery or equipment, or the release of stored energy, which could cause injury to employees."

Lockout/Tagout CenterCredit: 1staidsupplies.com

LOCKOUT/TAGOUT  (LOTO) - This is a safety procedure meaning to lock and tag machinery power supplies to ensure that dangerous machinery and equipment are properly shut-off and not started up again prior to completion of maintenance or servicing work.

By using a hasp type of lock to keep the machine from being turned on and a tag which states there is danger and that the machine must not be turn on, on the power source of a machine, you are ensuring the safety of those performing the service or repair.  It is preferable if the name of the person performing the repair or maintenance signs the tag and then removes it after completition of the work performed.

The National Electric Code states that a safety or service disconnect must installed within sight of serviceable equipment.  This will help the person servicing or repairing the equipment so they can actually see the power source to prevent it from being accidently turned on.

These procedures will vary, depending upon:

  • Whether the source of hazardous energy is electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, thermal, or chemical
  • How many employees are affected

Nevertheless, all employees should be receive training and become familiar with lockout/tagout procedures for the company's operations and a review of these should take periodically.  It is important to document this training.

The following SIX STEPS are a review of basic steps for safety de-energizing equipment:

  1. Notify all "affected employees" that the equipment will be shut down.
  2. Shut down the equipment by normal stopping procedures.
  3. "Isolate" all of the equipment's energy souces - all power.
  4. Lock out and/or tag out the energy isolating devices with assigned, individual locks.
  5. Release or restrain any stored energy by grounding, blocking, bleeding down, etc.
  6. Assure that no personnel are exposed, then TEST the equipment to assure it will NOT operate.

Insure that all of the above SIX STEPS  were followed in order and completed before continuing.

Before Restoring Equipment to Service:

  1. Check to assure that all employees have been safely positioned or removed from the area.
  2. Verify that equipment controls are in neutral.
  3. Remove lockout and/or tags and re-energize the machine or equipment.
  4. Notify affected employees that servicing is complete and the equipment is ready for use.

Double check on all employees - it is better to be safe than sorry.

According to statistics, every ten minutes, two people are killed and hundreds suffer disabling injuries from accidents on the job.  Don't be a statistic!  Know what part you play in the LOCKOUT/TAGOUT (LOTO) program in your workplace.