The top 5 Lockout Tagout Safety Procedures

The lockout tagout, or as it is sometimes known the lock and tag, is a widely used safety procedure used in various industry and research settings. The procedure is put into place so that any hazardous materials or any dangerous machinery is shut down correctly and completely. It is often completed when there is some form of maintenance or security work that needs to be completed while the machines are turned off. Therefore, having a clear and concise procedure that all relevant employees are aware of, is of the utmost importance. This is done for all employee’s safety and well-being.


What Dangers?

There are many dangers and hazards in modern industry settings that may require a lockout tagout procedure to be put into place. Some of the following hazards may apply to employees working with these procedures:

How is the procedure completed?

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Thermal
  • Fluids and chemicals
  • Hydraulics

Making the equipment safe and the lockout tagout procedure complete means removing all energy sources from the area; this is known as isolation. Most lockout tagout procedures follow a similar pattern; such as the following:

Top 5 Lockout Tagout Safety Procedures

  • Announce the system will be shut down
  • Identify which energy source(s) will be shut down
  • Isolate the specified energy source(s)
  • Lock and Tag the source(s)
  • Prove that the isolation has been effective


  • Notify all employees personally that a lockout procedure is about to take place within a specified time frame; this can be anything from 1 hour to 3 days
  • Shut down any equipment which is already operating. This can be completed by pressing a button or flipping a switch, depending on the machinery used
  • Operate the command to make sure the energy source(s) is isolated
  • Using a specific lock and tag product, lock out the source(s)
  • Make sure that no employee is exposed in the area, turn on normal operating machinery.
  • The required energy source(s) should now be locked out.


  • Notify specific employees (those that will be within the affected area) that a lock out tag out procedure will take place
  • Give all specified employees a run down sheet of what will occur, which machinery will be affected and what time the procedure is due to take place
  • Follow the lock out instructions that should be in a specified place
  • After the steps have been completed, clear the area of all debris
  • Notify all members of staff the machinery will be turned back on
  • Make sure guards are in place before switching normal machinery back on


  • Clear the entire site of personell
  • Make sure guards are in place
  • Follow lock out tag out procedure on the required energy source(s)
  • Check all areas are clear before switching on normal machinery
  • Check isolation process has been successful


  • Notify all employees by email that a lock out tag out procedure will take place on a specified date and time
  • Make sure all employees are aware at the time
  • Give ONE or TWO members of staff the judgement to complete the lockout procedure
  • Use two locks which each member, preferbly supervisors, has in order to initiate lock out
  • Clear the area before isolating the energy source(s)
  • Once lock out is completed, make sure area is clear and guards are put into place
  • Complete work assignments that are to be issued



  • Notify employees by whichever means possible
  • Give each employee a run down sheet
  • Clear area of all employees
  • Make sure staff running the lock out have protective equipment in place
  • Lock and Tag the equipment needed to be isolated
  • Test the equipment to make sure it has been isolated
  • Complete work assignment
  • Remove all locks following procedure
  • Wait a specified amount of time before letting employees back into area

These five procedures differ slightly, each can be suited to any specific building or working area. It is the responsibility of the management to ensure a lockout tag out safety procedure is followed correctly.