Lockout/Tagout Program Overview, OSHA requirements

What Does OSHA Require for Lockout/Tagout?

Did you know that OSHA compliance with lockout/tagout standards prevents nearly 50,000 injuries yearly? Thus, all businesses that operate industrial equipment should have a lockout/tagout procedure. 

Besides, OSHA requires these businesses to do. So if your business doesn’t have a procedure or needs to update it to comply, this article is for you.

Keep reading to learn the answer to the question, “What does OSHA require for lockout/tagout?” and learn how to create a procedure at your workplace. 

What Is a Lockout/Tagout Procedure?

The lockout/tagout steps and procedure detail how to keep machines and equipment from unintentional energization during maintenance or repair. You may also see them called LOTO procedures.

OSHA requires employers to have a program and procedures for affixing appropriate lockout or tagout devices to energy-isolating devices. 

What Does OSHA Require for Lockout/Tagout?

OSHA industry standard 29 CFR 1910.147 discusses the LOTO requirements business must implement to protect workers when they inspect the machinery. This includes:

  • Developing, implementing, and enforcing an energy control program
  • Using lockout devices or tagout devices if lockout devices are not suitable
  • Assuring new equipment has lockout abilities (or tagout abilities, if necessary)
  • Using authorized devices (i.e., each tagout device must be non-reusable, self-locking, and capable of withstanding the environment they are exposed to)
  • Ensuring devices identify individual users
  • Establishing specific policy for employees who apply and remove LOTO devices
  • Providing training to employees 

Further, standard 29 CFR 1926.417 states workers must properly tag all deactivated controls during maintenance tasks. 

What Are the 10 Steps to Lockout/Tagout?

There are several steps for those working in the industrial environment to follow to adhere to OSHA’s LOTO requirements. They are:

  1. Identify the procedure to use 
  2. Prepare for the shutdown
  3. Notify affected employees
  4. Shutdown the equipment
  5. Isolate the equipment
  6. Add the individual locks
  7. Check stored energy
  8. Verify the isolation of the equipment
  9. Shut off controls
  10. Return equipment to service

Since each business uses different equipment, your steps may vary in length and detail. You can read more about the ten steps listed here in this guide

How Do I Create a Lockout/Tagout Program?

Your business can create an effective lockout/tagout plan by first understanding OSHA regulations. Then, you need to list all the machinery and equipment in your workplace. From there, you can identify which requires lockout. 

Then, locate the start-up areas of hazardous energy sources, including:

  • Chemical
  • Electrical 
  • Hydraulic
  • Mechanical
  • Pneumatic
  • Pressure
  • Process control
  • Radiation
  • Stored Energy (i.e., gravity, springs) 
  • Thermal 

Next, determine your LOTO controls and secure them. It would be best if you standardized the devices you use across the workplace.

Finally, you can set up a training program for your lockout/tagout procedures and implement them. OSHA requires you to review your policies annually, at a minimum.  

Create a LOTO Procedure of Your Own 

Now that you know the answer to the question, “What does OSHA require for lockout/tagout?” your business can create its own procedures for compliance. Use the steps in this guide to help craft a LOTO procedure that fits your business needs. 

Does your business require help with workplace safety and training? Contact us at PHASE Associates to learn more about our programs. We have professional expertise in understanding the latest regulations and technologies that keep the workplace healthy and safe.