Lockout/Tagout Procedure (for the Control of Hazardous Energy)

Policy Information
Policy TitleLockout/Tagout Procedure (for the Control of Hazardous Energy)
Responsible OfficeEnvironmental Health and Safety (EH&S)
Policy TypeEnvironmental Health
Policy Number1012
Last Revision Date10/24/2023


Lockout is the preferred method of isolating machines or equipment from energy sources. To assist supervisors in developing a procedure which meets the requirements of OSHA standard 1910.147 and 1910.333, the following minimal procedure is provided for use in both lockout and tagout programs. This procedure may be used when there are limited numbers or types of machines or equipment or if there is a single power source. For more complex systems, a more comprehensive procedure will need to be developed, documented, and utilized.Refer to the Binghamton University Lockout/Tagout program and to the complete OSHA standard 1910.147 and 1910.333 for additional requirements.


This procedure establishes the minimum requirements for the lockout or tagout of energy-isolating devices. It shall be used to ensure that machine or equipment is isolated from all potentially hazardous energy, and locked out or tagged out before employees perform any servicing or maintenance activities where the unexpected energization, start-up, or release of stored energy could cause injury.


Appropriate employees shall be instructed in the safety significance of the lockout (or tagout) procedure. A list of employees authorized to lockout or tagout machines or equipment, and their job titles, should be maintained by each supervisor. Each new or transferred employee and other employees whose work operations are or may be in the area shall be instructed in the purpose and use of the lockout or tagout procedure.

Preparation for Lockout or Tagout

Make a survey to locate and identify all isolating devices to be certain which switch(s), valve(s), or other energy-isolating devices apply to the equipment to be locked or tagged out. More than one energy source (electrical, mechanical, or others) may be involved.

Sequence of Lockout or Tagout System Procedure

  1. Notify all affected employees that a lockout or tagout system is going to be utilized and the reason therefore. The authorized employee shall know the type and magnitude of energy that the machine or equipment utilizes and shall understand the hazards thereof.
  2. If the machine or equipment is operating, shut it down by the normal stopping procedure (depress stop button, open toggle switch, etc.).
  3. Operate the switch, valve, or other energy-isolating device(s) so that the equipment is isolated from its energy source(s). Stored energy (such as springs, elevated machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems, and air, gas, steam, or water pressure, etc.) must be dissipated or restrained by methods such as repositioning, blocking, bleeding down, etc.
  4. Lock out and/or tag out the energy-isolating devices with assigned individual lock(s) or tag(s) selected; i.e., locks, tags, additional safety measures, etc.
  5. After ensuring that no personnel are exposed, and as a check on having disconnected the energy sources, operated the push button or other operating controls to make certain the equipment will not operate. Caution: Return operating control(s) to "neutral" or "off" position after the test.
  6. The equipment is now locked out or tagged out.

Restoring Machines or Equipment to Normal Operation

  1. After the servicing and/or maintenance is complete and equipment is ready for normal production operations, check the area around the machines or equipment to ensure that no one is exposed.
  2. After all tools have been removed from the machine or equipment, guards have been reinstalled, and employees are clear, remove all lockout or tagout devices. Operate the energy-isolating devices to restore energy to the machine or equipment.

Procedure Involving More Than One Person

In the preceding steps, if more than one individual is required to lock out or tag out equipment, each shall place their own personal lockout or tagout device on the energy-isolating device(s). When an energy-isolating device cannot accept multiple locks or tags, a multiple lockout or tagout device (hasp) may be used. If lockout is used, a single lock may be used to lock out the machine or equipment with the key being placed in a lockout box or cabinet which allows the use of multiple locks to secure the box or cabinet. As each person no longer needs to maintain their lockout protection, that person will remove their lock from the box or cabinet.

Basic Rules for Using Lockout or Tagout System Procedure

All equipment shall be locked out or tagged out to protect against accidental or inadvertent operation when such operation could cause injury to personnel. Do not attempt to operate any switch, valve, or other energy-isolating device where it is locked or tagged out.

It is recommended that each supervisor establish a lockout (or tagout) procedure for energy-isolating devices located in their area of responsibility. The following information should be recorded for each device:

Lockout (or Tagout) Procedure for (description of device):

  1. Name of Department.
  2. Type(s) and Magnitude(s) of energy hazard(s).
  3. Name(s) and Job Title(s) of employees authorized to lock out or tag out.
  4. Name(s) and Job Title(s) of affected employees and how to notify them.
  5. Type(s) and location of energy-isolating means.
  6. Type(s) of stored energy - methods to dissipate or restrain.
  7. Method(s) selected, i.e., locks, tags, additional safety measures, etc.
  8. Type(s) or equipment checked to ensure disconnections.
  9. Name(s) and Job Title(s) of employees authorized for group lockout or tagout.