Lock Out / Tag Out

Lockout/Tagout is a procedure to ensure equipment or an energized panel is turned off before starting to perform maintenance, repairs or adjustments.  Performing maintenance, repairs and adjustments on a live panel or equipment can result in a serious or fatal injury.

To lockout a panel or piece of equipment, turn the power off or remove the keys.  Then put a lock on the controls or startup mechanism of the panel or equipment.  A tag is also applied to let workers know that the equipment is not to be operated or the panel energized until the tag and lock are removed.

Only workers who apply the lock and tag are allowed to remove them.  The name of the person is written on the tag with their contact information.

Workers must be trained in the Lockout/Tagout procedures and show they are competent in the process and understanding the importance of this life saving procedure.

Sample Lock Out/Tag Out Procedure:

  1. Communicate the lock out requirement with all workers.
  2. Turn off the equipment or panel at the main control.
  3. Add the lock at the main control so no one can turn it on again.  The key must remain with the worker who applied the lock.
  4. Add a Lock Out Tag and/or additional lock if possible, to the panel or equipment where it can be started.
  5. Test the equipment or panel to ensure that they cannot be energized.
  6. Check for other forms of energy that could start the panel or equipment.  For example, on a tractor, loader or skid steer, you may need to block hydraulics before performing maintenance, repair or adjustments so they don’t move.
  7. Once it is confirmed that all energy sources have been locked or blacked, then it is safe to perform maintenance, repair or adjustments.
  8. Once the maintenance, repair and adjustments have been made, the worker who applied the lock and tag can then remove it.  Start with the locks and tags applied the furthest from the main control panel or source.
  9. Communicate to the other workers that the equipment is ready to use or the panel is now live.

All workers must be trained on this procedure even though they may not be applying the lock and tags themselves, to ensure they recognize the purpose of the lock out/tag out system.  It can save lives.