Understanding lockout & tagout
What is Lockout / Tagout ?
According to the OSHA standard for The
Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout /Tagout), Title 29 CFR Part 1910.147, addresses the practices and procedures necessary
to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous
energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities. The
standard outlines measures for controlling hazardous energies
electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other
energy sources. In addition 29 CFR 1910.333 sets forth
requirements to protect employees working on electrical circuits and
equipments. This section requires workers to use safe work practices, including
lockout and tagging procedures.
apply when employees are exposed to electrical hazards while working on, near
or with conductors or systems that use electricity.
How can you protect workers ?
The lockout tagout standard establishes
the employer's responsibility to protect
employees from hazardous energy sources on machines and equipments during
service and maintenance.
The standard gives
each employer the flexibility to develop an energy control program suited to
the needs of the particular workplace and the types of machines and equipments
being maintained or serviced. This is generally done by affixing the
appropriate lockout or tagout devices to energy-isolating devices and by
de-energizing machines and equipments. The standard outlines the steps required
to do this.
What do employees need to know ?
Employees need to be trained to ensure that they know,
understand, and follow the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control procedures. The training must at least cover:
aspects of the employer's energy control procedure relevant to the employee's
duties or assignment; and the various requirements of the OSHA standards
related to lockout/tagout.
What must employers do to protect their
The standards establish requirements that employers must
follow when employees are exposed to hazardous energy while servicing and
maintaining equipment and machinery. Some of the most critical requirements
from these standards are outlined below:
Develop, implement, and enforce energy
Use lockout devices for equipment that
can be locked out. Tagout devices may be used in lieu of lockout devices only
if the tagout program provides employee protection equivalent to that provided
through a lockout program.
Ensure that new or overhauled is capable
of being locked out.
Develop, implement, and enforce an
effective tagout program if machines or equipments are not capable of being
Develop, document, implement, and enforce
energy control and procedures.
Use only lockout/tagout devices
authorized for the particular equipment or machinery and ensure that they are
durable, standardized, and substantial.
Ensure that lockout/tagout devices
identify the individual users.
Establish a policy that permits only the
employee who applied a lockout/tagout device to remove it. [ See 29 CFR
1910.147(e)(3) for exception.
Inspect energy control procedures at
Provide effective training as mandate for
all employees covered by the standard.
Comply with the additional energy control
provisions in OSHA standards when machines or equipments must be tested or
repositioned, when outside contractors work at the site, in group lockout
situations, and during shift or personnel changes.