Weekly Safety Meeting – Lockout / Tagout Safety

Lockout/Tagout Safety

If you operate, clean, service, adjust, or repair machinery and equipment, be aware of the hazards to which you’re exposing yourself. Any powered equipment that could put you in danger is a hazard that can be prevented when lockout/tagout/tryout procedures are followed. Before working on or near energized equipment, visually inspect the work area to identify energy sources. Go through every step of the process to make sure accidental equipment activation won’t take you by surprise.

If you identify an energy source, follow appropriate lockout/tagout/tryout procedures. Never touch or operate power-activated equipment unless you’ve been trained and are authorized to do so. Never touch anything that is locked or tagged unless you’re responsible for working on it and are sure the power is disconnected.

Be aware of the dangers and be on your guard around any machinery or moving equipment. Even if you don’t operate the machinery, you could get caught in it and injured if it’s not properly locked.

Failure to lock out or tag power sources on equipment can result in electrocutions, amputations, and other serious-sometimes fatal-accidents.

Hazardous energy:

Hazardous energy is any type of energy that is powerful enough to cause injury to a worker and includes electricity, mechanical motion, pressurized air, and hot and cold temperatures. Workers can be exposed to hazardous energy in several forms and combinations:

  1. Kinetic (mechanical) energy in the moving parts of mechanical systems;

  2. Potential energy stored in pressure vessels, gas tanks, hydraulic or pneumatic systems, and springs (potential energy can be released as hazardous kinetic energy);

  3. Electrical energy from generated electrical power, static sources, or electrical storage devices (such as batteries or capacitors); and

  4. Thermal energy (high or low temperature) resulting from mechanical work, radiation, chemical reaction, or electrical resistance.

Most common causes of accidents:

  • The machine or piece of equipment was not completely shut off before a maintenance or repair operation;

  • The machine was turned on accidentally, either out of carelessness or because the person who turned it on didn’t realize that another worker was there and could get hurt;
  • The machine wasn’t working correctly but wasn’t fixed, turned off, locked or tagged, and someone who didn’t know about the problem used it;
  • Moving equipment wasn’t blocked; or

Safety procedures were inadequate or hadn’t been properly explained.

Remember the dangers and be on your guard around any machinery and moving equipment. Even if you don’t operate the machinery, you could get caught in it and injured if it isn’t properly disconnected.


If equipment starts up without warning, clothing and hands can easily get caught in moving parts. If an accident happens, employees can lose fingers, hands, and other body parts.

Workers who don’t follow LOTO safety rules risk being:

  • Electrocuted;

  • Burned;

  • Crushed;

  • Exposed to Harmful Chemicals; or

  • Killed.

How to prevent accidental injury from moving machinery:

  • Identify all jobs and equipment that require lockout of power sources.

  • Post warning signs wherever possible to indicate that lockout is required.

  • Develop written procedures explaining how lockout is to be done.

  • Train all personnel in the lockout procedures for their particular job and offer periodic refresher training.

  • Allow no deviation from the written policies and procedures.

  • Use engineering and administrative controls as much as possible to eliminate the need for lockout.

  • Test the energy after you believe it to be isolated.

    o This is one of the most over looked steps and probably the most important. Employees think they have isolated the energy at the source, but it isn’t for one reason or another.

  • Perform regular maintenance to prevent malfunctioning equipment. 

    If in Doubt…Lock it Out!!! 

Download flyer: SMOTW_349_Lockout_TagoutSafety.pdf (123.12 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_349_Lockout_TagoutSafety_esp.pdf (124.89 kb)

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