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0 Comments | Oct 15, 2018

What You Need To Know About Lockout Tagout

Lock out equipment before entering labelWhat is Lockout Tagout?

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is a safety procedure used to ensure machines and equipment are properly shut off and kept off during the completion of any maintenance or service work.

The OSHA defined standards on Lockout Devices provides the minimum requirements for the control of hazardous energy during “the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment” where unexpected energization could harm employees. In other words, proper lockout/tagout measures alert personnel that certain pieces of equipment have been temporarily disabled for their safety.

Why Lockout Tagout Procedures Are Important

As mentioned, failure to follow safe LOTO procedures can put your personnel at unnecessary risk of sustaining serious injury or worse. An unexpected equipment startup can lead to any of the following:

  • Electrocution
  • Pinching
  • Cuts
  • Crushing
  • Shock
  • Burns
  • Death


When To Use A Lockout Tagout Device

  1. When unexpected startup or the release of stored energy could result in an injury to those performing service or maintenance on or around a machine.
  2. When your facility receives new equipment or machinery and it’s being installed.
  3. When a guard or other safety device must be bypassed or removed.
  4. When an employee is working on moving machinery and they must place any part of their body in/or near the moving part.


What Employees Must Do Before Service or Maintenance

Before servicing or maintaining equipment, the following steps must occur to ensure proper safety:

  1. Prepare for shutdown
  2. Shut down the machine
  3. Disconnect or isolate the machine from the energy source or sources
  4. Apply the LOTO device to the energy-isolating device
  5. Release, restrain, or otherwise render safe all potential hazardous stored or residual energy
  6. Verify the isolation and deenergized state of the machine


Common LOTO Devices

  • Electrical Plug Lockout – This device works by surrounding the electrical plug and protecting employees against the accidental and unwanted reconnection.
  • Lockout Safety Padlock – Padlocks are lockout devices that are designed to prevent others from disabling an energy isolating device.
  • Circuit Breaker Lockout – Designed to isolate a given breaker in a circuit breaker panel so that the entire breaker box does not need to be locked out.
  • Lockout Hasps – Allows more than one worker to put their padlock on a lockout device when more than one worker is performing maintenance on a given piece of equipment.