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June 14, 2011
Basic Steps of a Lockout/Tagout Process

Some basic steps are common to all lockout/tagout procedures, though you will need to get more specific for your individual situation. OSHA requires you to have a lockout/tagout process. In a BLR webinar entitled "Lockout/Tagout: How Small Tweaks To Your Program Can Mean Big Savings in Costs and Injuries," Michael D. Lawrence outlined the basic steps:

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LOTO Activity
  • Step 1: Identify energy sources and shut off energy to the affected equipment. (Use normal stopping or running procedures for the machine.)
  • Step 2: Notify others – in particular all affected employees.
  • Step 3: Shutdown the equipment, using normal stopping procedures for the machine.
  • Step 4: Isolate the equipment from the energy source.
  • Step 5: Lockout/tagout the equipment by affixing locks and tags to each energy source controlling device.
  • Step 6: Release any stored energy from capacitor banks, springs, compressed air, steam, hydraulics, etc.
  • Step 7: Verify isolation of energy has occurred by trying equipment.
  • Step 8: Perform servicing.
  • Step 9: Release the equipment from lockout/tagout.

When restarting the machinery, here are some steps to follow:

  • Ensure that nonessential items are removed from equipment.
  • Ensure that equipment components are intact.
  • Check area to ensure that all affected employees are safely positioned or removed from the area.
  • Notify all affected employees and site supervisor before reenergizing the equipment.
  • Remove lockout/tagout devices.
  • Reenergize equipment to ensure safe operation.

Michael D. Lawrence is the Principal Consultant and founder of the firm Summit Safety Technologies in Long Beach, California. ( Michael is an accomplished safety manager with expertise in all areas of workplace safety, offering safety compliance solutions that fit the budgets of small businesses. He is certified in safety and health management systems for small business and also as a performance-based equipment trainer. He has over 20 years experience in safety and training, and has helped many clients in safety compliance.

Need help staying on top of critical Safety and Environmental issues? See all the webinars BLR has to offer.

More on Lockout/Tagout

Lockout and tagout devices

Lockout/tagout: Authorized, affected, and other employees

Lockout/tagout restart procedures

Three exceptions to lockout/tagout

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