Section 10: Lockout/Tagout Policy

10.1      Lockout/Tagout Policy - General

A.     This policy covers the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment in which the unexpected energization or startup of the machine or equipment, or release of stored energy could cause injury to employees.

  1. Equipment located in academic areas is covered by the safety procedures developed by each department.  These procedures are included in Appendix G of this manual.

B.     In general, normal operations are not covered by this policy; however, servicing and/or maintenance which takes place during normal operations are covered under the following conditions:

  1. If an employee is required to remove or bypass a guard or other safety device.
  2. If an employee is required to place any part of his or her body into an area on a machine or piece of equipment where work is performed or where an associated danger zone exists during a machine operating cycle.

C.     Minor tool changes and adjustments, and other minor servicing activities, which take place during normal operations, are not covered if they are routine, repetitive, and integral to the use of the equipment, provided that the work is performed using alternative measures which provide effective protection.

D.     This policy does not apply to work on a cord and plug connected electric equipment for which exposure to the hazards of unexpected energization or startup of the equipment is controlled by the unplugging of the equipment from the energy source and by the plug being under the exclusive control of the employee performing the servicing or maintenance.

E.     PVCC shall review and update this policy as appropriate.

  1. This policy shall be communicated to all personnel that are affected by it. 
  2. Administration and enforcement of this policy is the responsibility of the facilities manager.


10.2      Program Implementation

A.     Employees shall use procedures described herein for affixing appropriate lockout/tagout devices to energy isolating devices, and for disabling machines or equipment to prevent unexpected energization, start-up or release of stored energy.

B.     Lockout:  If an energy isolating device is capable of being locked out, use an appropriate lockout device, unless it can be demonstrated that tagout device will provide full employee protection.

C.     Tagout:  If an energy isolating device is not capable of being locked out, use a tagout system.

D.     Future Requirements:  Whenever replacement or major repair, renovation, or modification of a machine or equipment is performed, and whenever new machines or equipment are installed, energy isolating devices for such machines or equipment shall be designed to accept a lockout device.


10.3      Full Employee Protection

A.     When a tagout device is used on an energy isolating device that is capable of being locked out, the tagout device shall be attached at the same location that the lockout device would have been attached.

B.     No lockout/tagout is required under the following conditions:

  1. The machine or equipment has no potential for stored or residual energy or reaccumulation of stored energy which could endanger employees after shut down. 
  2. The machine or equipment has a single energy source, which can be readily identified and isolated.
  3. The isolation and locking out of the energy source will completely de-energize and deactivate the machine or equipment.
  4. The machine or equipment is isolated from the energy source and locked out during servicing or maintenance.
  5. Servicing or maintenance does not create hazards for other employees.


10.4      Energy Control Procedures

A.     The lockout/tagout procedures for each machine and piece of equipment shall outline the scope, purpose, authorization, rules, and techniques to be utilized for the control of hazardous energy, and the means to enforce compliance including, without limitation, the following:

  1. A statement of the intended use of the procedure.
  2. Procedures for shutting down, isolating, blocking, and securing machines or equipment to control hazardous energy (manufacturer’s recommendations shall be followed whenever possible).
  3. Procedures for the placement, removal, and transfer of lockout/tagout devices and the person(s) responsible for implementing the procedures.
  4. Requirements for testing a machine or piece of equipment to verify the effectiveness of lockout/tagout devices and other energy control measures.

B.     Lockout/tagout procedures for specific machines and pieces of equipment are included in Appendix E of this manual.


10.5      Protective Materials & Hardware

A.     Appropriate lockout/tagout devices shall be provided for isolating, securing, or blocking of machines or equipment from energy sources based on the individual machine/equipment procedures.

B.     Lockout/tagout devices shall be singularly identified, shall be the only devices(s) used for controlling energy, shall not be used for other purposes, and shall comply with the following:

  1. Lockout/tagout devices shall be capable of withstanding the environment in which they will be used for the maximum period of time that exposure is expected.
  2. Tagout devices shall be fabricated and printed so that exposure to weather conditions or wet and damp locations will not cause the tag to deteriorate or the message on the tag to become illegible.
  3. Tagout devices shall not deteriorate when used in corrosive environments such as areas where acid and alkali chemicals are handled and stored.

C.     Lockout/tagout devices shall be standardized within each facility using at least one of the following criteria: color, shape, or size.  Additionally, in the case of tagout devices, print and format shall be standardized.

D.     Lockout devices shall be substantial enough to prevent their removal without the use of excessive force or unusual techniques.

E.     Tagout devices, including their means of attachment, shall be substantial enough to prevent inadvertent or accidental removal. Means of attachment shall be non-reusable, attachable by hand, self-locking, and non-releasable; and shall conform to the general design and basic characteristics of a one-piece, all-environment-tolerant nylon cable tie.

F.     Lockout/tagout devices shall indicate the identity of the employee applying the device.

G.    Tagout devices shall warn against hazardous conditions that may occur if the machine or equipment is energized and shall include a legend such as the following:

  • Do Not Start, Do Not Open, Do Not Close, Do Not Energize, Do Not Operate.


10.6      Training

A.     PVCC shall provide training to ensure that the purpose and function of the Lockout/Tagout Policy are understood and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of the energy controls are acquired by employees. Training shall include the following:

  1. Each authorized employee shall receive training in the recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace, and the methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control.
  2. Each affected employee shall be instructed in the purpose and use of the energy control procedure.
  3. All other employees, who work in an area where energy control procedures are utilized, shall be instructed regarding the procedures and the prohibitions related to attempts to restart or re-energize machines or equipment which are locked or tagged out.

B.     When tagout systems are used, employees shall be made aware of the following limitations of tags:

  1. Tags are warning devices affixed to energy isolating devices, and do not provide the same physical restraint on those devices that locks do.
  2. A tag that is attached to an energy isolating device shall not be removed without authorization of the person responsible for it, and it shall never be bypassed, ignored, or otherwise defeated.
  3. Non-legible or missing tags shall be reported to the facilities manager immediately.

C.     PVCC shall certify that the training of employees has been accomplished and is being kept up to date.  The certification shall contain each employee’s name and dates of training.


10.7      Application of Control

A.     The lockout/tagout procedures shall include the following elements:

  1. Lockout/tagout shall be performed only by the authorized employees who are performing the servicing or maintenance.
  2. Affected employees shall be notified of the application and removal of lockout/tagout devices. Notification shall be given before the controls are applied, and after they are removed.
  3. Before an authorized or affected employee turns off a machine or equipment, the employee shall have knowledge of the type and magnitude of energy involved, the hazards of the energy to be controlled, and the method or means to control the energy.
  4. The machine or equipment shall be turned off or shut down using the procedures established for that specific machine or equipment. An orderly shutdown shall be used to avoid any additional or increased hazard(s) to employees as a result of the equipment stoppage.
  5. All energy isolating devices that are needed to control the energy to the machine or equipment shall be physically located and operated in such a manner as to isolate the machine or equipment from the energy source(s).

B.     Lockout Device Application:  Lockout devices shall be affixed to each energy-isolating device in a manner that will hold the energy isolating devices in a "safe" or "off" position.

C.     Tagout Device Application:  Tagout devices shall be affixed in a manner that clearly indicates that the operation or movement of energy isolating devices from the “safe” or “off” position is prohibited.

  1. Where tagout devices are used with energy isolating devices designed with the capability of being locked, the tag attachment shall be fastened at the same point at which the lock would have been attached.
  2. Where a tag cannot be affixed directly to the energy isolating device, the tag shall be located as close as safely possible to the device, in a position that will be immediately obvious to anyone attempting to operate the device.

D.     Stored Energy:  Following the application of lockout/tagout devices to energy isolating devices, all potentially hazardous stored or residual energy shall be relieved, disconnected, or restrained.

  1. If there is a possibility of reaccumulation of stored energy to a hazardous level, verification of isolation shall be continued until the servicing or maintenance is completed, or until the possibility of such accumulation no longer exists.

E.     Verification of Isolation: Before starting work on machines or equipment that have been locked out or tagged out, the authorized employee shall verify that isolation and de-energization of the machine or equipment have been accomplished.


10.8      Release From Lockout/Tagout

A.     Before lockout/tagout devices are removed and energy is restored to the machine or piece of equipment, the authorized employee shall verify the following:

  1. That nonessential items have been removed from the work area.
  2. That the machine or equipment components are operationally intact.
  3. All employees have been safely positioned or removed from the work area.

B.     After the lockout/tagout device has been removed and before the machine or piece of equipment is started, affected employees shall be notified that the lockout/tagout device has been removed.

C.     The lockout/tagout device shall be removed from the energy isolating device by the employee who applied the device. 

  1. When the authorized employee who applied the lockout/tagout device is not available to remove it, that device may be removed under the direction of the facilities manager.


10.9      Testing of Machines, Equipment, or Components

A.     In situations that require the lockout/tagout device to be temporarily removed from the energy isolating device so that the machine or equipment can be energized for testing or to position the machine or equipment, the following procedures shall be used:

  1. Clear the machine or equipment of tools and materials.
  2. Remove employees from the machine or equipment area.
  3. Remove the lockout/tagout device as specified in the individual equipment procedures.
  4. Energize and proceed with testing or positioning.
  5. De-energize all systems and reapply energy control measures in accordance with equipment procedures and continue the servicing and/or maintenance.


10.10      Non-PVCC Personnel (Contractors, Etc.)

A.     Whenever outside servicing personnel are engaged in activities covered by this policy, PVCC and the contractor shall coordinate with each other regarding their respective lockout/tagout procedures.

B.     Each contractor shall ensure that their employees understand and comply with the restrictions and prohibitions of the contractor’s energy control program.


10.11      Group Lockout/Tagout

A.     When servicing and/or maintenance is performed by a group or team, procedures which afford a level of protection which is equivalent to that provided by an individual lockout/tagout device shall be utilized.

B.     Group lockout/tagout devices shall be employed in accordance with the procedures governing individual devices and with the following requirements:

  1. An authorized employee shall be responsible for a set number of employees working under the protection of a group lockout/tagout device.
  2. Provision for the authorized employee to ascertain the exposure status of individual group members concerning the lockout/tagout of the machine or equipment shall be made.
  3. When more than one crew or team is involved, an authorized employee shall be responsible for overall job-associated lockout/tagout control and shall coordinate affected workforces and ensure continuity of protection.
  4. Each authorized employee shall affix a personal lockout/tagout device to the energy control device when he or she begins work and shall remove those devices when their work is complete.


10.12      Definitions

A.     Affected Employee:  An employee whose job requires him/her to operate or use a machine or equipment on which servicing or maintenance is being performed under lockout or tagout, or whose job requires him/her to work in an area in which such servicing or maintenance is being performed.

B.     Authorized Employee:  A person who locks out or tags out machines or equipment to perform servicing or maintenance on that machine or equipment. An affected employee becomes an authorized employee when that employee’s duties include performing servicing or maintenance covered under this section.

C.     Capable of Being Locked Out:  An energy isolating device is capable of being locked out if it has a hasp or other means of attachment to which, or through which, a lock can be affixed, or it has a locking mechanism built into it. Other energy isolating devices are capable of being locked out if lockout can be achieved without the need to dismantle, rebuild, or replace the energy-isolating device or permanently alter its energy control capability.

D.     Energized:  Connected to an energy source or containing residual or stored energy.

E.     Energy Isolating Device:  A mechanical device that physically prevents the transmission or release of energy, including but not limited to the following:

  1. A manually operated electrical circuit breaker.
  2. A disconnect switch.
  3. A manually operated switch by which the conductors of a circuit can be disconnected from all ungrounded supply conductors, and no pole can be operated independently.
  4. A line valve; a block; and any similar device used to block or isolate energy.
  5. Push buttons, selector switches, and other control circuit type devices are not energy isolating devices.

F.     Energy Source:  Any source of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other energy.

G.    Hot Tap:  A procedure used in the repair, maintenance, and services activities involving welding on a piece of equipment (pipeline, vessel, or tank) under pressure, to install connections or accessories. It is commonly used to replace or add sections of a pipeline without the interruption of service for air, gas, water, steam, and petrochemical distribution systems.

H.     Lockout:  The placement of a lockout device on an energy-isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, ensuring that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.

I.     Lockout Device:  A device that utilizes a positive means such as a lock, either key or combination type, to hold an energy-isolating device in a safe position and prevent the energizing of a machine or equipment. Included are blank flanges and bolted slip blinds.

J.    Normal Production Operations:  The utilization of a machine or equipment to perform its intended production function.

K.   Servicing and/or Maintenance:  Workplace activities such as constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, modifying, and maintaining and/or servicing machines or equipment. These activities include lubrication, cleaning or unjamming of machines or equipment and making adjustments or tool changes, where the employee may be exposed to the unexpected energization or startup of the equipment or release of hazardous energy.

L.     Setting Up:  Any work performed to prepare a machine or equipment to perform its normal production operation.

M.     Tagout:  The placement of a tagout device on an energy-isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.

N.     Tagout Device:  A prominent warning device, such as a tag and a means of attachment, which can be securely fastened to an energy-isolating device in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.

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