Lockout / Tagout Safety program

The OSU Lockout/Tagout Safety Program establishes the requirements for isolating potentially hazardous energy in the workplace to ensure equipment is de-energized prior to employees and contractors performing maintenance and/or service.

Lockout/Tagout devices must be standardized, identified as such, and be used only for the LOTO program for a department. Locks and tags must be durable and capable of withstanding accidental removal. Departments must have locks and tags on hand appropriate for the potentially hazardous energy being locked/tagged out.

All authorized employees must follow their LOTO procedures when servicing and maintaining equipment and machinery where unexpected start-up/energizing of the equipment may release stored energy that could cause injury or fatality. Employees should consider any type of potentially hazardous stored energy prior to service/maintenance tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Electrical
  • Pneumatic
  • Chemical
  • Thermal
  • Elevated loads carrying potential energy

Locks and tags may be applied individually or as a group, applying multiple devices. Ensure employees are utilizing the appropriate lockout/tagout procedure.

Individual Lockout/Tagout:

When a single person is responsible for the LOTO of equipment, a specific procedure should be in place. The authorized employee must:

  • Identify all potentially hazardous energy sources
  • Notify all affected employees
  • Properly shut down the equipment
  • Position the energy-isolating device
  • Apply the LOTO device
  • Verify isolation
  • Perform repair or service
  • Restore equipment to service

If an individual LOTO extends into multiple shifts, the Group LOTO procedures must be followed.

Group Lockout/Tagout:

Group LOTO is utilized whenever multiple employees and/or work shifts are involved in the lockout or tagout of equipment. This prevents the accidental startup of equipment without each member's of the group approval. Group LOTO follows all the requirements of individual LOTO with the addition of:

  • Designate a primary operator for each group LOTO
  • A verification system must be implemented to ensure continued isolation of all potentially hazardous energy
  • Each authorized employee must verify the hazardous energy has been isolated.
  • Once servicing is complete, all employees must remove their individual locks, the equipment must be inspected and equipment re-energized.
  • Specific written procedures must be developed prior to any group LOTO taking place.

Training on the purpose, content and function of the LOTO program is required for all employees who participate in or are affected by the Lockout/Tagout of equipment.

Authorized employees are those who are properly trained and "authorized" by their department to apply LOTO devices when necessary. Training must include

  • Recognition and identification of potential hazards and stored energy sources the work area
  • Explanation and proper use of LOTO devices and procedures
  • Specific area LOTO procedures

Affected employees are those whose job requires the operation or use of a machine or equipment on which servicing or maintenance is being performed under LOTO. Training shall include:

  • Purpose and use of LOTO procedures
  • How to recognize LOTO devices
  • Prohibition of tampering with LOTO equipment


To access the training module for this Safety Program visit:

For questions concerning the OSU Lockout/Tagout Safety Program feel free to contact OSU EHS at 614-292-1284 or visit:

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