Occupational Safety & Health

What is a Lock out Tag out Procedure?

What is a Lock Out Tag Out Procedure?

A lock out tag out procedure is an important part of implementing LOTO (Lock Out Tag Out). It is also mandated by law in many cases.

lock out tag out procedure

Lock out tag out is an important concept in ensuring worker safety during machine maintenance, equipment overhauling and similar activities. Lockout Tagout is known as LOTO for short. It prevents the inadvertent starting of equipment when the worker is carrying out repair work, by ensuring that it does not start while the worker is vulnerable. For example, if a worker is repairing a centrifugal pump, that is driven by an electrical motor, then there has to be a means of energy isolation that prevents the pump starting inadvertently while the worker is still working on the pump. This is ensured by isolating the electrical energy to the connected motor and affixing a tag onto it warning people not to re-energize the motor.

The detailed step by step instructions in order to do this activity is known as a lock out tag out procedure. You can learn everything about developing your own lock out tag out procedure when you take the Abhisam LOTO training course.

Why do we need a lock out tag out procedure?

Many equipment in manufacturing plants, ships, agricultural processing plants and even in commercial buildings have either

a) Two or more energy sources that feed into it (for example Electricity, Compressed air, pressurized Nitrogen, etc) OR

b) A single energy source (say Electricity) but which as two locations for starting. For example an electrical motor driven pump in a plant that can be started either from near the pump via a pushbutton station OR from a remote location (such as from a control system located far away).

In both the above cases, there has to be an agreed written down procedure, that lists the steps to be taken and allocates clear responsibilities to the worker, other employees, supervisor, manager,etc so that the equipment is not started while somebody is working on it.

Where can I learn more about developing my own Lock Out Tag Out Procedure?

The easiest way of learning how to develop your own lock out tag out procedure is by taking the Abhisam LOTO Professional online learning course, that has an entire module dedicated to this topic.

You can also take the free LOTO training course that explains this topic in brief.