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Lock Out/Tag Out

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What Is Lock Out/Tag Out (LOTO) Training?


This is critical training in the control of hazardous energy (Lockout/Tagout), required by OSHA. It’s covered under Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 1910.147. It covers the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment to ensure no hazardous energy is released while employees perform servicing and maintenance.

Hazardous Energy includes electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other sources in machines and equipment. Each in their own form present serious hazards to workers.


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What Are the Harmful Effects of Hazardous Energy?


Workers servicing or maintaining machines or equipment may be seriously injured or killed if hazardous energy is not properly controlled.

Examples given from OSHA include both serious and fatal injuries such as electrocution, burns, crushing, cutting, lacerating, amputating, or fracturing body parts, and others.


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Who Needs To Do It?


Both Authorized and Affected Employees must do this training.  Following are OSHA’s definitions of Authorized and Affected Employees:

Affected:  “All employees who work in an area where energy control procedure(s) are utilized need to be instructed in the purpose and use of the energy control procedure(s), especially prohibition against attempting to restart or reenergize machines or other equipment that are locked or tagged out.”

Authorized: “All employees who are authorized to lockout machines or equipment and perform the service and maintenance operations need to be trained in recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources in the workplace, the type and magnitude of energy found in the workplace, and the means and methods of isolating and/or controlling the energy.” (ref: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/controlhazardousenergy/)
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Initial Lock Out/Tag Out Training under any of the following conditions:


  • Initial training to both authorized and affected employees must be provided before the servicing and/or maintenance begins.

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How Often Does Retraining Need to Be Done?


  • Although LOTO does not have a specific retraining schedule like many OSHA programs, there are very specific guidelines for when retraining must be provided.

    • Retraining must be provided as necessary.  Here are some examples: 
      • A periodic inspection shows a deviation from the trained routines.
      • An employer has reason to believe there are deviations from the application of the energy control procedures.
      • An employer believes that the employee’s knowledge of the energy control procedures is inadequate. 
    • Retraining must also be provided for all authorized and affected employees whenever there is a change in job assignment, energy control procedures or machinery/equipment processes which could present a new hazard

    The end goal of retraining is to re-establish the proficiency of the employee as well as address any new or revised procedures. 

    It’s important that retraining be based on the severity of the problems and the eradication of those problems.


Are You In Compliance?


  • According to OSHA, LOTO is one of the Top 10 Most Serious Violations and Top 10 Most Often Cited Violations.  That’s why understanding when you need to train and/or retrain is so important.  More than likely you’re out of compliance and don’t even know it.

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