Understanding Lockout Tagout Procedures

February 15, 2021 | SECURA Risk Management

The unexpected startup of equipment and machines during service or maintenance work can result in serious injury or even death.
Reduce risk by establishing and training employees on proper lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures.

Why is Lockout/Tagout important?

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) developed the Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) standard 1910.147, which requires that employers establish proper lockout/tagout procedures and train their employees to follow those procedures. These standards prevent an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries per year.

What is an Affected Employee?

An Affected Employee is an employee whose job requires them to operate or use locked-out machines or equipment, or whose job requires them to work in an area in which such servicing or maintenance is being performed. An Affected Employee can become an Authorized Employee if their duties include performing service or maintenance on a locked-out machine.

What is an Authorized Employee?

An Authorized Employee is a person who locks out or tags out machines or equipment in order to perform servicing or maintenance on that machine or equipment. An Affected Employee becomes an Authorized Employee when that employee’s duties include performing servicing or maintenance on the locked-out machine or equipment.

How to safely de-energize equipment

The following steps should be taken by an Authorized Employee to safely de-energize the machines or equipment:

  • Notify all affected employees that this equipment will be shut down for maintenance.

  • Shut down the equipment by using normal stopping procedures.

  • Isolate all the equipment’s stored energy sources.

    Lockout and/or tagout the energy-isolating devices with appropriate locks, tags, etc. Isolating devices include the key
    ignition or any other start-up device.

  • Release or restrain any potentially stored energy by grounding or blocking. Be aware that equipment marked “high voltage” can store lethal energy, even when disconnected from the power source.

  • Test the equipment to ensure that it is inoperable prior to maintenance/repair work.

Download Safety Talk Training Sheet

The information and recommendations contained in this material have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, SECURA accepts no legal responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or completeness of such information. Additional safety and health procedures may be required under particular circumstances. Please your SECURA Risk Management Consultant for more information.