LOCK OUT / TAG OUT (LOTO) POLICY
 
Lockout/Tag-out” refers to specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from the unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance activities. All Energy Group, Inc. employees must follow proper LOTO procedures as required by type of equipment, machine, or facility system such as electrical, lift or other system that is typically associated with maintenance or operating procedures that MUST be followed. Ask your supervisor what equipment, facility system or maintenance procedure requires LOTO to be followed.
 
In general:
 
  • “Lockout” is the placement of a lockout device on an energy-isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, ensuring that the energy-isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.
  • “Tag-out” is the placement of a tag-out device on an energy-isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy-isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tag-out device is removed.
 
References: “OSHA Standard for the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout / Tag-out)” 29 CFR 1910.147 and OSHA Publication 3120 “Control of Hazardous Energy – Lockout/Tag- out”
 
The OSHA Standard for the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tag-out) 29 CFR 1910.147 covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected start-up or the release of stored energy could cause injury to employees.
 
What Does LOTO Require?
 
  • Lockout/Tag out requires, in part, that a designated individual turns off and disconnects the machinery or equipment from its energy sources(s) before performing service or maintenance. That the authorized employee(s) either lock or tag the energy-isolating device(s) to prevent the release of hazardous energy and take steps to verify that the energy has been isolated effectively.
  • If the potential exists for the release of hazardous stored energy or for the re-accumulation of stored energy to a hazardous level, the employer must ensure that the employee(s) take steps to prevent injury that may result from the release of the stored energy.
 
What Employees Need to Know about LOTO
 
“Authorized employees”
 
  • Hazardous energy source recognition.
  • The type & magnitude of the hazardous energy sources in the workplace.
  • Energy-control procedures, including the methods and means to isolate & control those energy sources.
 
“Affected employees”
  • Recognize when the energy-control procedure is being used.
  • Understand the purpose of the procedure.
  • Understand the importance of not tampering with lockout or tag-out devices and not starting or using equipment that has been locked or tagged out.
 
“Other employees”
 
  • Must receive instruction regarding the energy-control procedure and the prohibition against removing a LOTO device and attempting to restart, reenergize, or operate the machinery.
  • If tag-out devices are used, all employees must receive training regarding the limitations of tags.
 
When is Lockout / Tag-out Required?
 
When someone will be servicing or repairing machinery or equipment and the unexpected machinery start-up or release of stored energy, could cause injury.
 
Group Lockout Devices
 
  • Used when more than one person doing maintenance or repair, on same machine or equipment.
  • Machinery or equipment cannot be started up until all locks are removed.
  • Each person places and removes their own lock.
 
What is Tag-out?
 
  • They do not provide the same physical restraint or level of protection as lockout devices.
  • Tags may evoke a false sense of security.
  • They can only be removed by an authorized person.
  • They must be legible, securely attached, and resistant to degradation.
 
Requirements for LOTO Devices
 
  • The employer must provide these devices and they must be singularly identified and not used for other purposes.
  • They must be durable enough to withstand workplace conditions
  • Standardized enough to minimize the likelihood of premature or accidentally removal. And
  • Labeled to identify the specific employees authorized to apply and remove them.
 
Energy-Control Procedures
 
  • Must Outline the scope, purpose, authorization, rules, and techniques that employees will use to control hazardous energy sources, as well as the means that will be used to enforce compliance. These procedures must provide employees at least the following information: • A statement on how to use the procedures.
  • Specific procedural steps to shut down, isolate, block, and secure machines.
  • Specific steps designating the safe placement, removal, and transfer of LOTO devices and identifying who has responsibility for the LOTO devices.
  • Specific requirements for testing machines to determine & verify the effectiveness of LOTO devices and other energy-control measures.
 
Lockout Procedures
 
  • Notify affected employees that machine or equipment will be shut down and locked out.
  • Shut down the machinery or equipment.
  • Isolate energy sources with energy-isolating devices.
  • Lock out energy-isolating devices with assigned locks.
  • Release or restrain stored or residual energy.
  • Test machinery to make sure it cannot start up.
 
What do I do if I cannot Lockout the Equipment?
 
  • If the energy-isolating device associated with the machinery cannot be locked out, you must securely fasten a tag-out device as close as safely possible to the energy-isolating device. Apply in a manner where it will be immediately obvious to anyone attempting to operate the device.
  • You also must meet all the tag-out provisions of the standard
  • The tag alerts employees to the hazard of re-energization and states that employees may not operate the machinery to which it is attached until the tag is removed in accordance with proper procedure.
 
Start-Up Procedures
 
  • All operators or employees on or near the job site are warned to stay clear
  • Remove all tools, locks, and tags
  • Remove, reverse, open or reactivate isolating devices
  • Visual check that all is clear
  • Startup machine, process, or line flow