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Target On Safety - February 2018
Purpose of Lockout/Tagout
(LOTO) is used to prevent the unexpected startup or activation of a machine or
equipment during service and/or maintenance operations that might cause injury.
In short: lockout/tagout makes certain that no one performing service or
maintenance work gets injured or killed.
When LOTO is performed, it is important to identify all energy sources
inside a machine or piece of equipment. This is not limited to electrical
energy, the most common source; it also must include mechanical energy,
pneumatic energy, hydraulic energy, stored energy (particularly when dealing
with pneumatic or hydraulic energy) and thermal energy. Consider the impact
have on equipment released from its energy source and take the steps to prevent
equipment or parts from falling.
When to Use Lockout
Lockout is used
during all service or maintenance when an employee must remove or bypass
machine safeguards and have body parts exposed to the point of operation or
another danger zone.
LOTO guards against the unexpected
energizing or startup of the equipment during all service activities. This
include installing, adjusting, setting up, inspecting, modifying, or servicing
machines or equipment in addition to lubricating, cleaning, un-jamming and
making adjustments or tool changes.
When Lockout Should Not Be Used
Lockout is not necessary during
normal production operations provided no guards are removed and employees are
not placing any part of their body in a danger zone. Normal production
operations are defined as the machine performing its intended function.
When service or maintenance work is
being performed on live electrical systems, the electrician will establish a
work zone around the work. This work zone will be identifiable with safety
cones and is off limits to other employees.
All employees must receive LOTO training but there are three different
levels that apply to the three types of employees OSHA recognizes. Authorized
employees are those who perform maintenance work and who will initiate
lockout procedures. These can be maintenance or production employees performing
Authorized employees receive the
highest level of training and need to know how to do all the specific steps
outlined on the next page. Affected employees are those who work in areas where
LOTO is performed, and other employees are those who may pass through LOTO
areas and simply need to know not to touch padlocks or attempt to re-energize
equipment that has been locked out.
to Initiate LOTO
authorized employees need to lockout equipment, they will follow these exact
steps to systematically de-energize a machine or piece of equipment before
- Notify employees in the immediate area that
service/maintenance work will be performed on a particular machine or
- Identify all energy control points and necessary
equipment for lockout. Refer to the machine’s specific procedures.
- Conduct an orderly shutdown of equipment.
- Deactivate energy control device(s) from energy
- Lockout all the
energy control devices with a padlock.
- Dissipate or restrain stored energy through
blocking, bleeding, grounding, etc.
- Verify isolation from energy by attempting to
start/operate the machine. This is a very important step and should never be
- Return all energy controls and/or buttons to
to Initiate LOTO
There may be times
when a padlock cannot be used on an energy control device because there is no
place to put the lock. In that case, a tag like this will be used.
Whenever you see this tag, DO NOT
attempt to use the switch or try to operate the equipment. If you do, you could
hurt or kill the person working on the equipment.
machine safeguards are removed or bypassed and an authorized employee must
place his or her hands, or any other body part, in a danger zone to perform
service work, the piece of equipment being serviced must be locked out.
a padlock or a tag is on an energy control device, leave the control device
alone and do not attempt to re-energize the machine. An authorized person is
working on the machine and if it starts up unexpectedly, that individual may
get injured or killed.
electricians are working on live electrical equipment, they will set up a work
zone with safety barriers. When that work zone is established, only authorized
personnel may enter – everyone else needs to stay clear of that area for their