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Lockout Tagout Procedures You Should Be Aware Of

Ujwal Deshmukh Sep 30, 2018
Lockout and tagout procedures are followed in order to ensure the safety of employees at the workplace. These procedures aim to prevent the mishaps taking place due to accidental activation of equipment resulting in the release of harmful chemicals or gases leading to adverse effects.
Lockout can be defined as the practice of locking a particular mechanical or an electrical equipment that can cause damage to the employees or the workplace on activation. The lockout device is a lock used to keep the equipment in a safe position and prevent it from an unexpected startup.
Locking the equipment itself is not enough. It needs to be complemented with a tagout device that would increase the visibility of the lock and also indicate the status of the equipment.
whether it is turned off or is under maintenance or is under some kind of trial or inspection and the equipment is not to be activated without the consent of the concerned authority.
The lockout and tagout system is applied in organizations manufacturing products that require machines that are to be started, used and shut down only by the operator appointed by the company.
It should be noted that the procedures for lockout and tagout for any organization should be in compliance with the standards for safe work practice set by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is an agency established with a principal objective of preventing occupational hazardsĀ and to ensure workplace safety.

Lockout and Tagout Procedures

The lockout tagout procedures consist of applying the lockout tagout devices as well as removing them.
But prior to shutting down the machine, the concerned person should have the knowledge of certain things such as the quantity and type of energy supplied to the machine, the hazards resulting from the energy released and the actions to be taken in order to control the energy. The concerned authority should be contacted in case of any problem.

Applying Lockout Tagout Devices

  • It is necessary to use only that particular lockout tagout device that is designated to the machine.
  • The lockout label should be completely filled by the person in charge of locking the equipment, mentioning all the required information clearly.
  • On locking the equipment, the tagout tag must be placed on the main or the operating control of the equipment, mentioning all the essential information of the person and the machine on the tagout form.

procedures and precautions for different equipment

Electrical Equipment

In order to maintain electrical safety at the workplace, the main switch of the machine should be turned off and keys of different locks must be handed over to the person in charge.
Proper tagout tags/devices should be attached that mention the names of the person who has locked, his supervisor and the location of his workplace and also a cautionary note that would restrict anyone from using the machine.


Some pipelines can cause harm if left open and therefore should be closed. Valves of such pipelines must be locked, in order to avoid leakage of harmful gases or chemicals. A proper tag should be attached that would clearly mention the essential details.

Movable Machinery

For machines that are designed and used for internal transport or carrying things within the organization, all the main power switches should be shut down. The important part is the drive gear of the machine that needs to be disconnected and locked. A tagout tag or device with all the essential information should be attached to the lock.

Computer Server Room

The computer server room is a section or a department that is usually under a very low temperature. The server room consists of cables and other electronic systems which need to be handled by an authorized personnel.
The systems may be required to be shut down for maintenance or some other reason. A lock with a proper tagout tag onto it must be attached to the entrance to warn other employees.

Removing Lockout Tagout Devices

Before activating system or machine remove all the lockout tagout devices and then properly store them. It is also necessary to indicate the removal of all the lockout tagout tags, the activation status of the machine and an alert message that would restrict other employees from using the machine.
The authorized person is prohibited from giving approval for the removal of a tag over phone or through any other mode of communication. He has to remove the tag by himself. Negligence leads to dismissal.

Purpose Behind Lockout Tagout Procedures

Lockout tagout policies and procedures have been introduced and followed in order to ensure the occupational health and safety of employees at workplace. There have been many instances in the past where employees have met with fatal accidents.
The authority to remove the lock and tagout tag lies only with the employee authorized to do so. It is therefore suggested to contact the person whose name is written on the tag in case of any emergency or problems.
Everyone needs to understand the importance of the standard lockout tagout policy and one must strictly adhere to its work procedures, rules and regulations.