join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More
Return To: HR Policy Index


Lockout / tagout is an additional means of preventing accidents. When electrical equipment and other services need to be repaired or serviced they must have their power source disconnected. To prevent accidental energy releases to the equipment, lockout/tagout procedures exist.

Lockout refers to using a locking device, usually a key or combination lock, to secures a valve, lever, or electrical switch in the “OFF” position. Tagout refers to placing a tag on a power source warning employees not to turn the power ON.

Your manager has “tags” which are used to alert and warn employees not to turn on or plug in the identified power source. Your manager will show you one of the tags and explain who has authority to place and remove them.

Lockout/Tagout Procedures:

Any time you clean, repair, service, inspect, or clear equipment, you must:

• Alert others that you are starting a lockout/tagout procedure.

• Turn off the equipment and disconnect the power supply.

• Test the “ON” switch to confirm the disconnect, then return switch to the “OFF” position.

• Release stored energy in springs, unsecured machine parts, air, gas, or water pressure.

• Lock or block out the energy sources with the required lock and/or tag.

• Retest the “ON” switch, then return it to the “OFF” position.

When cleaning, repair, service, inspection, or clearing of the equipment is completed, you must:

• Check the area to be sure all tools have been removed and guards are in place.

• Alert others that you are ready to start up the equipment.

• Remove locks/tags. Locks/tags must only be removed by the person who installed them.

• Connect the power supply and return the switch to the “ON” position.

• Turn the equipment on. Observe equipment in operation to be sure job was done correctly.