Policies & Procedures



Environment, Health, & Safety


Lockout and Tagout Procedures

The OSHA standard for the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout or LOTO), Title 29 CFR Part 1910.147.

SOP Number:  12.003
Effective Date:  January 2, 1990
Review Date: July 20, 2012
Replaces: 12.002
Reviewed by: Cathleen Eldridge, Associate Director, EH&S

These procedures cover the servicing and maintenance of machines or equipment in which the unexpected energizing or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy could cause injury to employees.  Energy sources including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal or other sources in machines and equipment can be hazardous to workers.

In addition, 29 CFR 1910.133 sets forth requirements to protect employees working on electric circuits and equipment.  This section requires workers to use safe work practices, including lockout and tagging procedures.  These provisions apply when employees are exposed to electrical hazards while working on, near, or with conductors or systems that use electric energy.

1910.147 (c)(4)(i) Procedures shall be developed, documented and utilized for the control of potentially hazardous energy.


Employees working on electrical or mechanical systems that require the shutting down of specific equipment or systems to facilitate the work will take the following precautions to ensure their own and fellow employee's safety.

  • Lockout - places a positive means of locking the energizing device in a safe position. Lockouts can be padlocks (either key or combination), chains,  flange blanks, bolted slip blinds or other types.
  • Tagout - placing a prominent warning device, such as a tag and means of attachment, which can be securely fastened to an energy isolating device to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.  

Prevent Key Interchange

The one important consideration in safety lockout is having confidence that the keying system used provides a large number of key choices and is not susceptible to key interchange.  Key interchange happens when one person's key can accidentally open another individuals lock, thus compromising the locks integrity.  When choosing a lock for safety lockout, the first step is to confirm that the lock used for safety purposes looks different than those used for security applications, such as for locking toolboxes, gates etc.  This is often achieved by using bright colors for your safety lock to distinguish them from others; in this case, brighter is better.  The most popular safety lockout locks also have a "Danger" label incorporated on them, where an employee's name, department or other pertinent information can be applied.  Having an employee's name, department or I.D. number placed permanently on the lock meets OSHA identifiable requirements.  The second step revolves around the safety lockout mantra of "one employee, one lock, one key".  A single employee may carry any number of locks, as long as they are all keyed to the very same key.  This rule of thumb should always be implemented:  When allowing outside contractors or services on site, be aware that their locks could compromise our system with key duplication.  Make sure to provide these individuals with locks from our safety system to keep the integrity of our system. 


Lockout devices to be used on mechanical equipment shall consist of a multiple lock safety lockout device placed through the disconnect switch of the electrical supply, locking the mechanism in the off or open position. The lock should be installed by the person working on the equipment and also removed by this person. Under no circumstances shall the lock be removed by any means other than the key of the person who placed the lockout. If possible a tag shall be attached to the lockout device giving the following information.

  • Name of person placing the lockout
  • Date installed
  • Reason for the lockout
  • Department to contact for further information

Chains installed on valves locking them in position shall also carry the above information on the attached tag.


Where it is impossible to install a lockout device, a tag will be installed clearly marked with a DANGER warning and giving the information stated above. This tag will be of two parts so that a duplicate of the information can be kept with the supply of tags.

All lockout-tagout devices shall be provided by the college. No other devices shall be used.

Take the following steps to protect yourself if you install or service equipment and systems:

  • Follow OSHA regulations.
  • Identify and label all sources of hazardous energy.
    • Disconnect or shut down engines or motors.
    • De-energize electrical circuits.
    • Block fluid (gas or liquid) flow in hydraulic of pneumatic systems.
    • Block machine parts against motion.
  • Block or dissipate stored energy:
    • Discharge capacitors.
    • Release or block springs that are under compression or tension.
    • Vent fluids from pressure vessels, tanks, or accumulators-but never vent toxic, flammable, or explosive substances directly into atmosphere.  
  • Lockout and tagout all forms of hazardous energy-including electrical breaker panels, control valves etc. 
  • Make sure that only one key exists for each of your assigned locks and that only you hold that key.
  • Verify by test and/or observation that all energy sources are de-energized.
  • Inspect repair work before removing your lock and activating the equipment.
  • Make sure that only you remove your assigned lock.  Only the worker who installs a lock and tag should remove them after work is complete and inspected.
  • Make sure that you and your co-workers are clear of danger points before re-energizing the systems.
  • Participate in all training programs.


The supervisors for the maintenance shops, central heating plant, and garage are responsible for the compliance to this policy for their individual areas.

Contact Information

Cathleen Eldridge, Associate Director
Office: Sibley Hall 421
Phone: 564-5009
Fax: 564-5082
Email: eldridcm@plattsburgh.edu