SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Lockout/Tagout Program
The OSHA 1910.147 standard requires employers
establish, train employees and follow proper lockout
and tagout procedures whenever employees
are working on equipment. This standard is cited within
the top ten OSHA penalties.
The purpose of an effective lockout, tagout and tryout
program is to protect the employees from serious or fatal
injuries that could occur during the unexpected release of
energy while servicing machinery or equipment. An effective
program shall be used to ensure that the machine or
equipment is stopped, isolated from all potential hazardous
energy sources and locked out before any person
performs any servicing or maintenance, where unexpected
energization or startup of the machine or equipment could
occur. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration
(OSHA) Standard 29 CFR 1910.147 Control of Hazardous
Energy Sources (lockout/tagout) require every business to
have a written program.
Frequently used terminology:
To conform to OSHA 1910.147 compliance standards,
all employees are required to comply with the restrictions
and limitations imposed upon them during the use of lockout,
tagout and tryout. Authorized and fully trained
employees are required to perform the lockout process.
Other employees, upon observing a machine or piece of
equipment, which is locked out to perform servicing or
maintenance, shall not attempt to start, energize, or use
that machine or equipment.
- Lockout – A technique used to prevent the release of
hazardous energy, or to prevent the hazardous energy
from escaping. A padlock is placed on the appropriate
energy-isolating device that is in the OFF or closed position.
Energy Isolating Device – A mechanical device that
physically prevents the transmission or release of energy.
Energy Control Procedure – Safety program adopted
by the employer that includes energy control procedures
plus provisions for inspecting the procedures and
training employees for lockout/tagout.
Authorized Employee – One who locks out machines
or equipment in order to perform the servicing or maintenance
on that machine or equipment.
Affected Employee – One whose job requires him/her
to operate or use a machine or equipment on which servicing
or maintenance is being performed under lockout, or
whose job requires him/her to work in an area in which
such servicing or maintenance is being performed.
Lockout procedures must include alerting the operator(s) that power is being disconnected; preparation for
shutdown, then the equipment must be shut down, lockout
devices applied, then there must be an equipment isolation
and verification procedure completed. The following
is a list of some of the types of energy sources that must
be locked out:
There are five fatal main causes of lockout/tagout
Air – Compression
Gas - Rotating parts
Stored electrical - Electrical
Gravity - Thermal
Hydraulic pressure - Chemical
Failure to stop equipment.
Failure to disconnect.
from power source
Failure to dissipate (bleed,
neutralize) residual energy.
Accidental restarting of equipment.
Failure to clear work areas before
Here are some general awareness tips for an effective
Never attempt lockout/tagout procedures unless you
have been trained and certified by your employer under
an approved Energy Control Program.
Never loan or share your lock, combination or key
with anybody else.
Ensure that the energy is completely dissipated prior
to working on the equipment.
Always be sure all lockout/tagout devices are compatible
with the environment in which they will be used,
i.e., corrosive, humid, etc.
Prior to starting work on the machine DO NOT FORGET
TO TRYOUT the machine or system to ensure that
there is no energy left to hurt you.
When the job has been completed, be sure to follow
proper procedures for the removal of the lockout. Ensure
equipment is safe to operate; all equipment must be in the
neutral position. Safeguard all employees; remove lockout/
tagout devices. Except in emergencies, each device
must be removed by the person who put it on.
Accidents caused by faulty lockout/tagout procedures or
processes can be avoided. Should you wish to read the
OSHA standard, please visit the OSHA website at
www.OSHA.gov. Should you need further information or
technical support please feel free to contact me.
For more information,