Lockout/Tagout Authorized Employees
It is inevitable that machines and electrical equipment will need maintenance and repairs. When maintenance and repairs need to be done, employees should use lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures. Lockout/tagout is the process of stopping energy at its primary and secondary sources and ensuring that the energy cannot be restored until all lockout/tagout devices have been removed.
Lockout – Machinery or equipment that has been secured by disengaging the power source, and blocking or locking the moveable parts to prevent injury from inadvertent or unexpected movement. The machinery cannot be restarted until the lockout device is removed.
Tagout – A tag is placed on the controls of the power source of the machinery or equipment that indicates that it cannot be restarted or operated while the machine or equipment is being serviced or
sources of energy
There can be many sources of energy in the work area. Sources of energy include:
Note: The procedures listed are general procedures. Employees should always follow their company-specific procedures when performing a lockout/tagout. Only authorized employees may perform a lockout/tagout.
Employees should perform the following procedures when locking and tagging out machines and
• Authorized employees should inform all affected employees that the machine or equipment is going
to be shut down and locked out until the maintenance or repair has been completed.
• All authorized employees who will be performing the maintenance or repair should identify all the
primary and secondary sources of the machine or equipment. Energy between machines can vary so
employees should be knowledgeable about all the hazards of the energy and methods by which the
energy can be controlled.
Authorized employees should unplug and secure the isolating devices on the machine or equipment.
Each authorized employee should put their own personal lock on the isolating device after the
isolating device has been turned to the “off” or “safe” position.
o After employees have isolated the machine or equipment, they should perform a verification
test to ensure that all power has been stopped to the machine or device. For equipment in
which electrical components are to be touched, employees should use testing devices to
ensure that the device shows zero voltage.
o All tags should have the name of the authorized employee and the date.
Note: It is illegal for anyone other than the authorized employee to remove a lock and tag while a machine
or equipment is under lockout/tagout. Supervisors may remove locks only after confirming that the
authorized employee is not on the site and only when it is safe to do so.
• Employees should relieve, disconnect, restrain, or otherwise render safe any stored energy within the
machine or equipment. Sometimes employees may need to use stands or other devices on certain
machines to prevent parts from moving.
o Some machines or equipment may reaccumulate stored energy to a hazardous level, so
employees should continue to verify that isolation of energy is maintained while maintenance or
repairs are taking place.
• Once maintenance or repairs have been completed, authorized employees should remove all
nonessential items (tools, flashlights, etc.) from the area. Employees should also replace and secure
any guards that were removed from machine.
• Before the lockout/tagout devices are removed, employees should check to ensure that all other
employees are either out of the area or at a safe distance.
• All authorized employees will need to remove their personal lock from locked and tagged devices
before affected employees are informed of the removal of the devices.
safe work practices
In addition to following the procedures of a lockout/tagout, employees should do the following to ensure their safety while performing maintenance or repair work:
• Assume responsibility for own safety while looking out for the safety of others.
• Communicate as much as possible with coworkers, especially during shift changes. Always provide
as much information as possible to the person who will be taking over and do not leave until they
have put their lock on and you have removed yours.
• Remember that each machine may have a different lockout/tagout procedure.
• Do NOT remove guards or other safety features while the machine is turned on or has power running
• Only use your lock. Do NOT lend or trade locks with other authorized employees.
• Do NOT rush. It is better to take a few minutes and make sure everything has been properly
performed than having an accident occur.
Lockout/tagout is an essential part of protecting employees while they perform certain tasks on a machine
or piece of equipment. It takes everyone to make these procedures work; however, employees need to
remember that they are responsible for their own safety. Lockout/tagout doesn’t take too much time and it
helps protect everyone.