Hazardous Energy Control (Lockout and Other Means)

Energy Control Recommended Procedures

Graphic representing procedures

Companies must have a program outlining the steps to de-energize machines and lock out sources of energy. The program will work best when it is recorded in a Written Procedure. In these links 1-5 we offer sample written programs with different complexity levels. Once you decide which one suits your company needs, you can customize it.

Sample Written Procedures

  1. The OSHA example from the regulations
    The sample programs below were provided by NIOSH partners and may or may not work for you. These examples should prove helpful in deciding what aspects are needed at your facility. Other information on machine safety and hazardous energy control can be found at OSHA, in ANSI/ASSE Z244- 2016 The Control of Hazardous Energy Lockout, Tagout and Alternative Methods, ANSI/B11 B11.0, ANSI/B11 B11.19, machine specific standards and manufacturer literature.
  2. Sample Written Program A [DOC – 90 KB] [PDF – 243 KB] – A detailed program which details management’s responsibility, including determining which applications require lockout and informing employees. Note that ANSI and industry standards recommend that a team should be involved in risk assessment, possibly including management, workers, manufacturers’ representatives, and consultants. Workers and maintenance personnel have knowledge of machine operations and work processes.  Management and workers need to buy-in into the solution. If changes to the work process and procedures for control of hazardous energy are necessary, a rigorous management of change procedure must be followed to ensure the safety implications of the change are reviewed, addressed, and properly authorized before the change is implemented.
  3. Sample Written Program B [DOC – 3 MB] [PDF – 487 KB] – A relatively simple program with group lockout, examples, and supervisory control.
  4. Sample Written Program C [DOC – 55 KB] [PDF – 163 KB] – This policy puts the human resources officer in charge of LOTO supply dispensing. This policy mentions a Job Hazard Analysis which is a simple type of risk assessment. Assessments which include individual tasks are generally better than ones that only look at hazards. While this sample program does not mention outside contractors, consideration must be given to those.
  5. Brief Sample Written Program D [DOC – 86 KB] [PDF – 156 KB] – Includes management and “outside personnel” such as contractors.

Important Characteristics and Considerations for a Hazardous Energy Control Procedure

  1. Documenting Sources of Energy: Regardless of the level of complexity of your program, you will need to document each source of energy. The steps involved are described in this roadmap below. It involves: Listing all sources of hazardous energy, with machine-specific information. Remember to assess the hazardous energy within a machine such as hydraulic pressure (tanks and lines) and compressed air. In addition, gasses which are pressurized, or are asphyxiants or poisons need to be controlled. Sources of Energy are (for example, but not limited to):
    1. Electrical
    2. Capacitors (ground out and drain)
    3. Pressurized or Pneumatic
    4. Chemical (Acids, Explosives)
    5. Explosive gases and dusts
    6. Asphyxiants (like Nitrogen)
    7. Heat Sources
    8. Cold Sources
    9. Gravity (things fall from height or roll)
    10. Static Electricity – Can build up in processes especially with dust
  2. Listing what operations require Lockout.
  3. Determining which employees are authorized to conduct lockout ANSI/ASSE Z244.1-2016 [PDF – 163 KB]
  4. Determining which employees need to be trained on lockout procedures. Temporary employees and external employees and contractors must be included.
  5. Determining how frequently employees need trained and document all training. Training must be documented and verified, preferably by a person who does not perform lockout.
  6. Carefully selecting locks and tagging devices and demonstrating them to supervisors and affected employees. It is also imperative to ensure that tools are readily available and easily identifiable.
  7. Clearly labelling all lockout points for hazardous energy and communicating these locations to supervisors and affected employees. Plan to de-energize electrical circuits and block machine parts against motion and lockout against all forms of hazardous energy, including electrical breaker panels and control valves. The following templates should be used after they are customized to your company needs:
  8. Prior to actually performing LOTO, the area or machine must be in control and cleared. This may require coordination of multiple people in multiple locations or it could be very simple in some cases. All personnel in the area must be informed that LOTO will be initiated. No operation which would put workers in harm’s way during the LOTO procedure should be performed. If for some reason the procedure is interrupted and the employee in control has lost control of the area, control of the area must be re-established and status of LOTO stage must be verified prior to continuing LOTO.
  9. There needs to be a verification of energy isolation. A Lockout permit form [DOC – 71 KB] [PDF – 85 KB] should be used in conjunction with the Lockout procedure and diagram provided above.
  10. The use of lock boxes for key control is recognized as a best practice. Make sure that only one key exists for each assigned lock and that only the affected employee has the key. If more than one lock is required to effect a lockout, then the numbered keys should go into a lock box that the service/repair employees can put their personal lock on. The lock box can be secured by a numbered, tamper-proof seal to secure it after all the keys are in it. This allows a service/repair employee who puts his personal lock on the lock box to check the seal number on the Lockout Permit form and make sure the lock box has not been opened.
  11. Within a plant or facility, the locks used for lockout should all be of the same type, and they should not be used for any purpose other than l That way, employees can recognize easily that a lock is being used for lockout. Locks should not have the same key if everyone has access to the key.   Each lock-and-key set should be unique. Multiple keys should not be issued for individual locks.
  12. For service/repair work that involves more than one lock box, the employee can use the lock box number to make sure they are putting their personal lock on the right lock box.
  13. A place for the equipment owner/operator and the service/repair employee to sign off that they jointly reviewed the lockout energy isolation devices, and that they are correct per the written procedure (2-person principle).
  14. Jointly review the completed work by the equipment owner/operator and the service/repair employee to ensure that it is safe to put the equipment back into operation.
  15. Minor tool changes and adjustments and other minor servicing activities are allowed without LOTO if:
    1. they take place during normal production operations;
    2. they are routine, repetitive, and integral to the use of the equipment for production; and
    3. work is performed using alternative measures which provide effective protection, e.g., through guarding (Note to 29 CFR 1910.147(a)(2)(ii)). This note specifically refers the employer to Subpart O – “Machinery and Machine Guarding.” The two OSHA policies on Lockout and machine Guarding intersect when an employee does “minor servicing” or jam-clearing and “bypasses” normal protections. This is addressed by ANSI/ASSE Z244.1 – Control of Hazardous Energy Lockout/Tagout and Alternative Methods: Decision Matrix for Safeguarding Hazardous Energy [PDF – 163 KB]. Push-buttons, selector switches, safety interlocks and other control circuit type devices are generally NOT acceptable energy isolating devices. OSHA specifies energy control devices that are acceptable ; most are manually actuated single control devices. Identification of operations where you might want to use the exception needs to be done up-front (at design/installation phase, or through survey of all equipment). An effective risk assessment helps identify issues to be addressed (all energy source, particularly stored/potential energy). Bottom line: If you don’t use full LOTO, you have to use an equally protective alternative, determined by a detailed and documented risk assessment. For clarification of Minor Servicing Lockout Alternatives: Standard Expectations, see example minor servicing standard expectations [DOC – 76 KB] [PDF – 163 KB] which, like the other materials in this resource guide, was compiled by practitioners, members of the NORA Manufacturing Sector Council.
  16. Consider WHO will be using the procedure. It is necessary to take into account all types of employment arrangements, jobs and supervisory relationships, as today many workers are temporary, from another agency, an outside contractor or, only temporarily performing a job function that might require lockout. All workers must be protected; regardless of the perceived relationship. Not only is it important to make sure that the procedure takes this into account, it is imperative to ensure that the requisite safety procedure is communicated through all possible contract documents to the relevant agencies and workers.
  17. Language is important: Another issue in today’s workforce in integrating many cultures and groups of workers from different agencies, companies, divisions, and other differing groups is that of language. You need to have messages understood by all who speak different languages. Tags and training need to be provided in relevant languages.
  18. Realize that the most important point is that the performance of lockout is an administrative procedure. It is therefore susceptible to non-compliance or mistakes by any of the involved, managers, workers, contractors, and others. Everyone is involved in its success and failure, and that makes important to have an established team.
  19. Risk Assessment and Planning of Work: Make sure you have performed a risk assessment to determine the risk of various hazards and tasks. This need not be quantitative. It must be done as a team including management and workers. See ANSI Z244 or ANSI B11.0 for more information.

DISCLAIMER: Information and materials included on the Hazardous Energy (Lockout Tagout) webpages were compiled from many sources and reviewed and adapted for use by the NORA Manufacturing Sector Council. As such, content presented does not necessarily represent the views of NIOSH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Additionally, mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH.