Lock-Out Tag-Out (Hazardous Energy Control)

General Requirements
Whenever an employee is maintaining or servicing a piece of equipment which could unexpectedly release energy, the equipment must be locked out by a specific, previously validated process before work begins.

Types of energy include electrical, mechanical, chemical, thermal, kinetic, pressurized liquids or gases, or any other type of energy that could cause bodily harm upon release. Lock-out Tag-out prevents the accidental restart of equipment believed to be de-energized. Lock-out is the preferred method; tag-out may be used only when it is not possible to lock out the equipment.

Lock-Out Tag-Out procedures must be specific for each piece of equipment. Procedure must be affixed to the equipment in a permanent manner. Procedures must be validated at least annually by demonstration.

OSHA CFR 1910.147

Keys to Compliance for Supervisors

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do we really need a separate procedure for each piece of equipment?
A. Yes, unless the items are absolutely identical. Procedures should identify electric panel number / ID to ensure proper electric circuits are disabled.

Q. What must I provide in the training for my employees?
A. Review of all specific LOTO procedures at the unit of equipment; review of key elements of the OSHA regulation, including the recommended shut-down and start-up processes.

Q. Can my employees use their own locks?
A. No. Should there be an emergency, the supervisor must have the ability to remove the lock; therefore a standard lock system should be used by each group.

Links to written programs, further information