Preparation for Lockout
Lockout/Tagout shall be performed only by authorized employees who are performing the servicing or maintenance. Authorized employees shall be certain, as to which switch, valve, or other isolating devices apply to the equipment being locked out. Employees shall locate and identify all isolating devices. More than one energy source (electrical, mechanical, or others) may be involved. Authorized employees also must be certain that local on/off control of the equipment is achievable. Before lockout commences, employees shall clear any questionable identification of energy sources with their supervisors.
Notification of Employees
Affected employees shall be notified by the employer or authorized employee of the application and removal of energy control devices. Notification shall be given before the controls are applied, and after they are removed from the machine or equipment.
Machine or Equipment Shutdown
The machine or equipment shall be turned off or shut down using the procedures established for the machine or equipment. An orderly shutdown must be utilized to avoid any additional or increased hazards to employees as a result of equipment de-energization.
Machine or Equipment Isolation
All energy-isolating devices that control the energy to the machine or equipment shall be physically located. Operate the switch, valve, or other energy-isolating device so that each energy source (electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, etc.) is disconnected or isolated from the equipment. The use of push buttons, selector switches, and other control circuit type devices as energy isolating devices is prohibited. Stored energy such as capacitors, springs, elevator machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems and air, gas, steam or water pressure, etc. must also be dissipated or restrained by methods such as grounding, blocking, repositioning, bleeding down, etc. Compressed air, hydraulic or steam lines must be bled, drained, and cleaned out. The isolation valves must be locked out and tagged.
Power Circuit Versus Control Circuit
Only power circuit devices are approved as energy-isolating devices. The power circuit distributes power (electric energy) from the source (main disconnect) to the motor (connected load). The control circuit controls the distribution of power through the use of a motor controller (motor contactor), system interlock device, on/off switch, or start/stop push buttons. The use of a control circuit device as the primary means of hazardous energy control does not adequately protect employees. These devices are vulnerable to hazards such as component failure, program errors, magnetic field interference, electrical surges, and improper use or maintenance. Locking out control circuit devices will not prevent a motor from starting if voltage is present in the power circuit.
Tagout or Lockout/Tagout Device Application
The Tagout devices shall be affixed to each energy-isolating means by authorized individuals and shall be affixed in such a manner as will clearly indicate that the operation or movement of the energy-isolating means from the “safe” or “off” position is prohibited. The tagout device shall be located as close as safely possible to the means, in a position that will be immediately obvious to anyone attempting to operate the device. Use of tagout only is allowed in rare circumstances with prior written approval from a supervisor.
The Lockout devices shall be affixed to each energy-isolating means by authorized individuals and shall be affixed in a manner that will hold the energy in a “safe” or “off” position. Attach an approved tag containing the name, date and contact information for the person performing the lockout/tagout. Employees must not attempt to operate any switch, valve, or other energy isolating device when it is locked or tagged out. Each employee must apply his own personal Lockout/Tagout device on the energy isolating device. No one can apply another employee’s LOTO device.