St. Olaf College

Program and Policies


Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

Section 4

Facilities Homepage | Lockout/Tagout Table of Contents | Training Manual Table of Contents

Section 1

  • A. St. Olaf College is concerned about the health and safety of all of it's employees. A safety program in the area of machine and equipment maintenance and servicing is only one aspect of a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued regulations requiring the use of locks and/or tags prior to performing service or maintenance on equipment and machinery.

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  • A. The goal of locking out machinery and equipment prior to maintenance or servicing is to avoid accidents that can occur from unexpected start-up or release of stored energy. It is estimated that almost 40 million workers in the United States could be exposed to hazards from unsecured equipment. Implementation of OSHA lockout/tagout regulations and a supporting safety program could prevent 120 deaths and 60,000 injuries per year.

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  • A. Machines can be powered by many different sources:
    • 1. Electricity

    • 2. Gas

    • 3. Compressed Air

    • 4. Coiled Springs

    • 5. Raised Load

    • 6. Steam

    • 7. Pressurized Liquids

  • B. Some machinery and equipment is powered from multiple sources. For example, a machine might use electricity, gas, and a raised weight which is residual energy. Any one of these single sources, by itself- even if the others are turned off and locked out-presents a danger to maintenance workers.

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  • A. A lockout is a device which provides a positive neans for rendering a switch, valve, raised load, coiled spring or any energy source inoperative. Lockout is a necessary step for ensuring worker safety prior to performing maintenance or service. The lockout device may be a padlock, blanking device, restraining bar, chain and padlock or any device which prevents a machine from being energized or releasing stored energy.

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  • A. A tagout (or lockout tag) shows who locked out the mechanism, the time, date, and department. Other information such as phone or radio page number can also be shown. Tagouts should be durable and securely fastened to the locking mechanism so they don't fall off accidently. The tags should be legible in all weather conditions. Tagouts should only be applied and removed by the same authorized individual. A tagout wars others that a particular switch, valve or energy source is "locked out" in the off or safe position and should not be operated. Secure locking devices such as padlocks should always be used with a lockout whenever possible. It is also

Facilities Homepage | Lockout/Tagout Table of Contents | Training Manual Table of Contents


  • A. Determine what energy sources will be locked out

  • B. Can locks be applied?

    • 1. Ensure that the equipment to be serviced can be locked out and de-energized. Locks should be applied whenever possible.

    • 2. If locks can not be applied, your supervisor will instruct you how to proceed.

  • C. Determine sequence to follow.

  • D. Determine who will apply locks.

  • E. Multiple maintenance personnel

    • 1. If there are multiple maintenance personnel on a given job where lockout is necessary, each member of the team must apply his/her lock/tag to all the lockout points.

  • F. Be sure all stored energy is safely released or blocked

    • 1. Stored energy can be a raised blade or weight, residual line pressures from gases or liquids, capacitor stored electricity, reservoir tanks, or coiled springs. It's NOT enough that only energy sources are blocked, stored energy is dangerous too.

  • G. Follow Facilities Department procedure for performing maintenance/service operations

  • H. Before removing locks/tags and returning machinery to operation, four areas must be checked. Verify that:

    • 1. all safety guards are back in place

    • 2. work is complete and tools are put away

    • 2. workers are positioned safely for start-up

    • 3. controls are positioned correctly for start-up and machine is "operation ready"

  • I. The only person who applies a lock and/or tag can remove it!

    • 1. In accordance with St. Olaf College procedure, only the person who applied the lock and/or tag should remove it. If there is more than one member of the maintenance team, team leaders should remove their locks LAST...after all others have been removed.

  • J. Follow the predetermined sequence of unlocking and untagging the lockout points to return the machine to service.

    • 1. Be sure no one is on, in or attempts to operate the machine during this step.

Facilities Homepage | Lockout/Tagout Table of Contents | Training Manual Table of Contents


  • A. One Lock - One Key

    • 1. Each padlock used in equipment lockout should have only one key issued to the assigned person. All other keys should be destroyed

  • B. Identify Keys

    • 1. All locks will have a numbering system to identify the locks to those authorized to apply and remove them.

      • C) Use multiple lockout devices if needed.

      • D) It is very important that employees that are assigned locks never give their assigned key or lock to someone else.

      • E) It is also important to always use a tagout along with a lock.

      • F) If the device requiring lockout cannot accomodate a lock, contact your supervisor for further direction.

Facilities Homepage | Lockout/Tagout Table of Contents | Training Manual Table of Contents

Section 2


  • A. Before Lockout/Tagout is applied, all employees who work in the affected area must be notified.

  • B. Before starting work on any circuit, machine, belting, shafting, valve or other apparatus which is out of service, employees shall assure themselves that a approved Lockout device or Tagout tag is properly attached to the apparatus control.

    • 1. Locks and tags by themselves do not de-energize equipment. Attach them only after the piece of equipment in question has been isolated from its energy sources.

  • C. The OSHA regulation requires that control of hazardous energy be done according to a 6-step procedure.

    • 1. Preparation for Shutdown: Before you turn off any equipment in order to lock or tag it out, you must know:

      • a. The types and amounts of energy that power it

      • b. The hazards of that energy

      • c. How the energy can be controlled.

    • 2. Equipment Shutdown:

      • a. Shut the system down by using its operating controls.

      • b. Follow whatever procedure is right for the equipment, so that you don't endanger anyone during shutdown.

    • 3. Equipment Isolation:

      • a. Operate all energy isolating devices so that the equipment is isolated from its energy sources.

      • b. Be sure to isolate all energy sources - secondary power supplies as well as the main one.

      • c. Never pull an electrical switch while it is under load.

      • d. Never remove a fuse instead of disconnecting

    • 4. Applying Lockout/Tagout Devices:

      • a. All energy isolating devices are to be locked, tagged, or both.

      • b. Only the standardized devices supplied by your supervisor are to used for lockout/tagout, and they are not to be used for anything else.

        • 1) There should be just one key for each lock. If the lock was supplied with more than one key, all extra (more than one) keys should be destroyed.

      • c. Use a lockout device if your lock cannot be placed directly on the energy control.

      • d. When lockout is used, every employee on the work crew must attach his/her personal lock.

      • e. More than one employee can lock out a single energy isolating device by using a multiple-lock hasp.

      • f. For large jobs, a lockout box can be used to maintain control over a large number of keys.

      • g. If tags are used instead of locks, they must be attached at the same point that you would attach a lock, or as close as possible.

      • h. Tags must be filled out completely and correctly.

    • 5. Control of Stored Energy

      • a. Take any of the following steps that are necessary to guard against energy left in the equipment after it has been isolated from its energy sources.

        • 1) Inspect the system to make sure all parts have stopped moving.

        • 2) Install ground wires.

        • 3) Relieve trapped pressure.

        • 4) Release the tension on springs, or block the movement of spring-driven parts.

        • 5) Block or brace parts that could fall because of gravity.

        • 6) Block parts in hydraulic and pneumatic systems that could move from loss of pressure. Bleed the lines and leave vent valves open.

        • 7) Drain process piping systems and close valves to prevent the flow of hazardous materials.

        • 8) If a line must be blocked where there is no valve, use a blank flange.

        • 9) Purge reactor tanks and process lines.

        • 10) Dissipate extreme cold or heat, or wear protective clothing.

        • 11) If stored energy can reaccumulate, monitor it to make sure it stays below hazardous levels.

    • 6. Verifying Isolation of Equipment

      • a. Take any of the following steps that fit your equipment and energy control program.

        • 1) Make sure all danger areas are clear of personnel.

        • 2) Verify that the main disconnect switch or circuit breaker can't be moved to the on position.

        • 3) Use a voltmeter or other equipment to check the switch.

        • 4) Press all "start" buttons and other activating controls on the equipment itself.

        • 5) Shut off all machine controls when the testing is finished.

Facilities Homepage | Lockout/Tagout Table of Contents | Training Manual Table of Contents


  • A. Look ahead, and avoid doing anything that could re-activate the equipment that has been locked out.

  • B. Don't bypass the lockout when installing new piping or wiring.

Facilities Homepage | Lockout/Tagout Table of Contents | Training Manual Table of Contents


  • A. Make sure the equipment is safe to operate.

  • 1. Remove all tools from the work area.

  • 2. Be sure the system is fully assembled.

  • B. Safeguard all employees.

  • 1. Conduct a head count to make sure that everyone is clear of the equipment.

  • 2. Notify everyone who works in the area that lockout/tagout is being removed

  • C. Remove the lockout/tagout devices. Each lockout device must be removed by the person installed it (except in emergencies).

    • 1. A Lockout device, Tagout tag, or similar device, that has been placed for the protection of workers shall be removed only by the person in whose name it was placed and then only after the work has been completed and all workmen and tools are in the clear.

  • D. In some workplaces, the last person to remove his lock may have extra duties.

    • 1. He/she may have to remove the hasp and lockout device.

    • 2. Any tags should be removed, signed, and turned in to your supervisor.

    Facilities Homepage | Lockout/Tagout Table of Contents | Training Manual Table of Contents

    Section 3


    • A. St. Olaf College will provide locks, tags, chains, wedges, key blocks or other hardware necessary for isolating securing or blocking machines and equipment from energy sources.

    • B. Specific lockout and tagout devices will be issued and identified as Lockout/Tagout devices ONLY. They may not be used for other purposes, and only these devices may be used to control energy.

    • C. Lockout and Tagout Devices shall be chosen by the program Administrator and Facility Employee will conform to the following standards:

      • 1. DURABLE - Withstand, wet, corrosive, and other detrimental environmental conditions for the maximum exposure time expected.

      • 2. STANDARDIZED - All devices will be of the same color, shape, or size. Print and format on tags will be the same.

      • 3. SUBSTANTIAL - Lockout devices chosen should require excessive force (bolt cutters, etc.) to remove; tagout devices and attachments should be chosen which will prevent inadvertent or accidental removal and be at least equivalent to a one-piece, all environment tolerant nylon cable, tie: non-reusable, hand attachable, self locking, non-releasable with 50 pound minimum unlocking strength.

      • 4. IDENTIFIABLE - Each device will have the name of the authorized employee.

    • C. Devices chosen and designated for Lockout/Tagout will be listed on the form provided in the Equipment Section of this Compliance manual.

    Facilities Homepage | Lockout/Tagout Table of Contents | Training Manual Table of Contents


    • A. Based on the characteristics of the energy source and the environment, and their durability, the following lockout and tagout devices will be stocked at the Facilities office.

    ____________ _______________ ________ ____________ ______
    ____________ _______________ ________ ____________ ______
    ____________ _______________ ________ ____________ ______

    Facilities Homepage | Lockout/Tagout Table of Contents | Training Manual Table of Contents

    Section 4

    • A. Authorized and affected employees will understand the purpose, use, and function of the energy control program.

    • B. All employees working in and around energy controlled equipment will understand the lockout procedure.

    • C. All employees will realize that any attempt to restart or re-energize locked out or tagged out equipment is strictly prohibited.

    • D. Authorized employees will be able to recognize hazardous energy sources needing control.

    • E. Authorized employees will know where to find information on the type and magnitude of energy sources and their injury potential.

    • F. Authorized employees will be able to perform lockout and release of lockout.

    • G. All employees will understand that tags do not provide physical restraint, and are just warning devices.

    • H. Employees will respect the integrity of tags, will not bypass, ignore, remove, or otherwise compromise the tag system.

    • I. All employees will become familiar with the tags used in our program and understand their meaning.

    • J. All employees will realize that tags may evoke a false sense of security.

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