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Lockout/Tagout Procedures

By Ethan Davis

Definitions

Lockout: The application of a lock, chains, or other appropriate apparatus, and a danger identification tag to de-energize electrical equipment and/or process system to ensure that the equipment or system cannot be activated. Note: OSHA regulations require that locks be used to secure equipment whenever possible. Chains can be wrapped around valve handles and then locked in such a way that the valve cannot be operated. Tags alone can be used when it is not possible to use a lock.

Tagout: The application of a danger identification tag when a physical lockout or de-energizing is not feasible or a lock has already been applied. Tags should bear the name of the employee applying the tag, the date of ap-plication, and a brief description of the work needed.

Each piece of equipment or system must be evaluated to identify all energy sources to be locked or tagged out. The evaluation should be done periodically by a Supervisor or an authorized employee with familiarity with the equipment/system, using the attached Energy Source Determination Checklist.

If the machine is determined by OSHA that formal lockout/tagout procedures are required, this should be done by an authorized employee and logged on the attached form List of Lockout/Tagout Procedures. These procedures should then be followed. If no specific procedures are required, or provided by the equipment manufacturer, complete the following tasks:

(1) Deactivate (turn off) and secure the equipment/system at the energy source. Relieve pressure, release stored energy from all systems, and restrain or block them. (Operators must tag the appropriate switches or controls inside the control room as part of this step).

(2) Attach a lock to each isolation device and a tag to the lock. Sign and date the tag, along with providing pertinent information.

(3) Check to ensure that no personnel are exposed to the equipment/system, then attempt to activate the normal operating controls to ensure proper lockout/tagout. A voltmeter can be used to check the switch.

CAUTION: Always return the operating control to the “neutral” or “off” position after completing this test. The equipment/system is now locked and tagged out.

Lockout/Tagout Removal Procedures

a. After installation, servicing, maintenance, inspection, or cleaning is complete, verify that all tools have been removed, all guards have been reinstalled, the area is clean and orderly, and the equipment is safe to operate.

b. Ensure that employees are not exposed to the equipment and all employees are aware of the removal of the lock and tag.

c. The locks and tags should be removed only by the employee who applied them, the Supervisor, or the Manager. Locks and tags may be removed by the Supervisor or Manager only after receiving approval from the employee who locked out/tagged out, and/or confirmation that the necessary repair has been completed. The tags should be signed and dated and submitted to the Manager.

d. Activate energy source as required.

Procedures Involving More Than One Person

If more than one individual is required to lockout or tagout equipment, each shall use his/her own assigned lock-out/tagout device on the energy source. When the energy source cannot accept multiple locks or tags, a multiple lockout/tagout device (hasp) should be used. A single key should be used to lockout the equipment/system, with the key being placed in a lockout box or cabinet. This cabinet or lockout box must allow multiple locks to secure it. Each employee will then use his/her own lock to secure the box or cabinet. As each person no longer needs to maintain the lockout protection, that person will remove his/her lock from the cabinet. Proper removal procedures should be followed.

Annual Inspection/Evaluation of Lockout/Tagout Program

The Lockout/Tagout Program should be reviewed on an annual basis to determine if changes in the program are needed. These changes may be due to additions of machinery/equipment, revisions in the way specific machines are locked out or tagged out, machinery has been removed from the premises, etc. The attached Lockout/Tagout Annual Inspection/Evaluation Report form may be of assistance in completing this very important procedure.

Training Documentation

All lockout/tagout training should be properly documented. Documentation forms should be kept on file within each Manager or Supervisor’s office. Updated training should be provided when lockout/tagout procedure changes occur. Training documentation forms should be updated following each lockout/tagout training class. The attached Training Documentation for Lockout/Tagout Program form should assist you in maintaining proper documentation of your training procedures.