An example of an effective lockout/tagout procedure

James Madison University
Tags: lockout-tagout

The procedure outlined in this article establishes the minimum requirements for the lockout or tagout of energy-isolating devices. Lockout is the preferred method of isolating fixtures, equipment or machinery from energy sources. It shall be used to ensure that the fixture, equipment or machinery is isolated from all potentially hazardous energy and locked out or tagged out before associates perform any servicing or maintenance activities where the unexpected energization, start-up or release of stored energy could cause bodily injury and/or to prevent damage to fixtures, equipment, machinery or the environment.

Affected associate: This is an associate who works in an area where servicing or maintenance operations are performed. An affected associate does not perform servicing or maintenance on machines or equipment and, consequently, is not responsible for implementing lockout/tagout procedures. However, an authorized associate and an affected associate may be the same person when the affected associate’s duties also involve performing maintenance or service. An affected associate becomes an authorized associate whenever he or she performs servicing or maintenance functions.

Authorized associate: This is an associate who performs servicing or maintenance on equipment and machinery. This associate implements lockout/tagout procedures to guarantee his or her own protection.

Capability of being locked out: An energy-isolating device is considered capable of being locked out if it meets one of the following requirements:

Energized: Equipment and machinery is energized when they are connected to an energy source or contain residual or stored energy.

Energy control procedure: This is a written document that contains the steps an authorized associate must follow to safely control hazardous energy during servicing or maintenance of equipment or machinery.

Energy control program: This is a program intended to prevent the unexpected energizing or the release of stored energy in equipment or machinery. The program consists of:

Energy-isolating device: This is a mechanical device that physically prevents the transmission or release of energy.

Energy source: This is any source of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, steam, thermal or other energy.

Lockout: Placing a lock on an energy-isolating device according to an established procedure, that ensures that the fixture, equipment or machinery cannot be energized until the lock is removed by the person who placed it there.

Lockout device: This is a device that utilizes a positive means such as a lock to hold an energy-isolating device in a safe position and prevent the energizing of fixtures, equipment or machinery.

Tagout: This is the placement of a tagout device on an energy-isolating device, according to an established procedure, clearly marked by means of a tag that states who has the fixture, equipment or machinery shut down and that the equipment or machinery must not be operated until the tagout device is removed by the associate who place it there.

Tagout device: This is any prominent warning device, such as a tag and a means of attachment, that can be securely fastened to an energy-isolating device according to established procedure. The tag indicates that the equipment or machinery to which it is attached must not be operated until the tagout device is removed according to the energy control procedure. The attachment method must be substantial and not easily removed.

Zero energy state: All sources of energy have been controlled and/or dissipated.

Director: Retains overall responsibility for this procedure.

Engineering manager: This person is responsible to ensure that all engineering associates are aware of this procedure and are trained in its use and application. All training is to be documented and copies sent to the facilities management (FM) personnel coordinator and to the facilities management safety manager. He or she ensures that contractors are aware of this procedure.

Assistant director for operations and FM managers: Responsible to ensure that all maintenance personnel are aware of this procedure and are trained in its use and application. All training is to be documented and copies sent to the FM personnel coordinator and to the FM safety manager. Ensure that contractors are aware of this procedure.

FM safety manager: Responsible for auditing this procedure, that procedures are consistent throughout facilities management and that documentation is accurate.

Institutional fire safety inspectors: Responsible to check for the existence or non-existence of written energy control (shutdown/startup) procedures in mechanical equipment rooms and to so indicate on their inspection report. A copy of the inspection report is to be sent to the FM safety manager.

Maintenance supervisors: Responsible to ensure that all maintenance personnel are aware of this procedure and are trained in its use and application. Names and job titles of associates who are authorized to lock out or tag out shall be documented and copies sent to the FM personnel coordinator and to the FM safety manager. Each new or transferred associate and other associates whose work operations are or may be in the area shall be trained in the purpose and use of this lockout or tagout procedure. Supervisors shall verify the accuracy of existing written energy control (shutdown/startup) procedures, write them if they are non-existent, obtain adequate supplies, maintain the inventory and document the issuance of locks, tags and locking devices.

Maintenance associates: Responsible to know and to understand the important safety significance of this procedure and its proper application. If violations of this procedure are observed, notify your supervisor and the FM safety manager immediately.

Hazard analysis
A written hazard analysis shall be performed by scheduled maintenance associates for each piece of equipment and machinery that is used, serviced or maintained. Be sure to include stored equipment and machinery. This begins with an inventory to be recorded on an energy hazard assessment inventory form. Send a copy of this form to the FM safety manager.

As the inventory is completed for each building, a more detailed evaluation of each piece of equipment or machinery shall be completed. Document all energy sources (direct and hidden), the hazards posed, the magnitude or measurable degree of danger, any special or unusual conditions, and the proper isolation methods and devices. Record these items on the detailed energy hazard assessment form. Send a copy of this form to the FM safety manager.

The assessment forms serve as the building blocks for developing written energy control (shutdown and startup) procedures. As these energy control procedures are completed, send them to the FM safety manager for review.  

A) Basic rules for using lockout or tagout system procedures

B) Sequence to lock out or tag out

C) Restoring machines or equipment to normal production operations

D) Procedure involving more than one person

E) Additional requirements
1) Engineering manager, FM managers and supervisors should annually verify that all associates are in compliance with the requirements of this procedure. A periodic lockout/tagout inspection form shall be used and a copy of the completed form sent to the FM safety manager.

2) Initial training must be provided for all authorized and affected associates, repeated annually and documented. Additional retraining for all authorized and affected associates must be provided whenever there is a change in equipment, machinery, procedures or whenever there is evidence that this procedure is being violated.

3) Locks provided by facilities management are the only authorized locks to be used for equipment or machine lockout. Each lock should be keyed separately. One key issued to the authorized associate possessing the lock and the other key kept by the supervisor for emergency situations only.

4) Each lock should be identified as to its owner. In lieu of identification on the lock, an authorized associate’s personal tag can be applied in addition to his/her lock when locking out the equipment or machinery so that the lock’s owner can be readily identified.

5) The tags, padlocks and lockout devices used for locking out machinery and equipment should only be used for lockout and not for any other activity.

6) All equipment or machinery should be provided with appropriate energy isolating devices. Each such energy-isolating device should be clearly identified by a label. Only where such devices are not now existent may tagout be used.

7) All equipment or machinery that is required to be locked or tagged out shall have a written energy control (shutdown/startup) procedure attached to or near the main power switch for that equipment or machinery. This procedure is to identify all the energy sources which may be acting on this equipment and detail how each energy source is to be locked or tagged out. A copy of these procedures is to be sent to the FM safety manager for review.

8) The removal of a lock or tag by anyone other than the assigned associate who placed the lock or tag on the equipment or machinery is a very serious event and shall be documented with a copy of the documentation being sent to the FM safety manager. The supervisor should make every effort to locate the responsible associate, make a thorough examination of all machinery or equipment protected by the lockout or tagout to ensure that personnel, tools and equipment are clear, and notify the FM manager before removing the lock or tag. Continue to make all reasonable efforts to contact the associate to inform him/her that his/her lockout or tagout device has been removed and to ensure that the associate has this knowledge before he/she resumes work.

9) A tagout device, including the means of attachment, shall be substantial enough to prevent inadvertent or accidental removal. Tagout device attachment shall meet the following:

Note: One device which meets all of these requirements is a one-piece, all environment-tolerant, nylon cable tie.

F) Extras
Cord and plug equipment is exempt from the provisions of this procedure provided that the following two conditions are met.

An audit shall be performed annually by the FM safety manager to ensure compliance with this written procedure.

This procedure shall be reviewed annually.

All personnel authorized to do maintenance and affected associates (those using or capable of starting a machine or any equipment) shall be trained annually on this procedure.

All new associates shall be properly trained on this procedure before working in an area where lockout or tagout is in use.

Supervisors must document that associate training has been accomplished. Copies of this documentation are to be sent to the FM personnel coordinator and to the FM safety manager.

Documentation must include the names of all associates participating, the date of the training, a copy of the curriculum and the name of the trainer.

To ensure that the necessary information has been learned a written test shall be administered by the trainer and the results recorded. Associates who do not achieve at least a 75 percent score on the written test must be retrained.

Written test results are to be retained by the FM personnel coordinator.

Training should include the following:

Retraining should take place: