This GBCA Safety Toolbox Talk discusses lock-out tag-out procedures. Click below to download the Toolbox Talk as a handout (includes Sign-In Sheet).

Lock-Out Tag-Out Procedures

According to OSHA, an estimated 120 fatalities 50,000 injured result from not following REQUIRED Lock-Out Tag-Out procedures every year. Electrocutions, amputations, and burns can happen from equipment’s unexpected release of energy. Lock out tag out procedures can reduce or eliminate this issue.

Lock-Out Tag-Out (LOTO) Procedures:

Lock-Out Tag-Out procedures control hazardous energy sources. The energy is either supplied (e.g. a power line) or stored within equipment after it is shut down (e.g. an electrical capacitor, pressure in a vessel, or the weight of an object). Examples of hazardous energies are hydraulic, electrical, mechanical, chemical, thermal, pneumatic, and even gravity.

LOTO procedures protect workers by preventing others from turning on equipment or from a release of energy while working on or servicing equipment. Locks are used to prevent unexpected reenergizing of a machine, system, or equipment that has been shut down.  This disables power to equipment, and the equipment will have a ZERO energy level, i.e. no stored energy or power from the lines.

Once machines/equipment are shut down, a personal identification tag must also be affixed to the mechanical mechanism in the OFF position. No one but the lock owner can remove the lock: this procedure keeps workers safe from accidental power engagement.

Lock-Out, Tag-Out, and Try Out:

  • Know who on your job site is responsible for equipment’s LOTO procedures.
  • Know what equipment/machinery needs to be shut down, along with ALL energy sources.
  • Determine if equipment/machinery on site has any stored energy sources such as capacitors; springs; elevated components; rotating flywheels; hydraulic systems; piles that can shift; air, gas, steam, or water pressure, etc.
  • Properly shut down equipment and machines:
    • Notify affected workers about the shutdown.
    • Shut off all power sources.
    • Lock out equipment by applying locks to power sources to keep equipment from coming back on.
  • Tag out equipment, identifying responsible person for the LOTO procedure. Only the person who put on the lock and tag may remove it.
  • Try out equipment to make sure that it’s locked out.

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Remember to record the attendees of your toolbox talk!

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