Lockout Tagout Program

This document defines University of Maryland (UM) policies and procedures for implementing OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.147, and MOSH Standard 1910.147 “The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout).” 

The intent of Lockout/Tagout is to prevent the unexpected energization or startup of equipment, machines, or systems, or release of stored energy, which could cause injury to employees. This would include the unexpected movement of pneumatically controlled covers or doors, or the unexpected flow of gasses or liquids through pipes and valves. The unexpected startup or energization of equipment or systems can cause severe injuries or death, and therefore the implementation of this program is mandatory.

For the LOTO Program to be fully implemented and provide the protection required for employees, each employee must be made aware of the program and must adhere to the requirements as outlined. Each employee involved with Lockout/Tagout will be assigned responsibilities concurrent with their involvement.


This policy covers:

  • Responsibilities
  • Requirements
  • Individual Lockout/Tagout
  • Training
  • Auditing
  • Contractors


Affected employee: 

An employee whose job requires him/her to operate or use a piece of equipment or machine on which servicing or maintenance is being performed under Lockout/Tagout, or whose job requires him/her to work in an area in which such servicing or maintenance is being performed.

Authorized employee: 

A person who locks and tags or implements a LOTO procedure on equipment or systems to perform servicing or maintenance on such equipment.


To physically block the flow of gas, liquid, etc., through a pipe/vessel, by use of a flange disc.


The process of placing a chain or cable through a valve handle to prevent unexpected movement.

Energy isolating device: 

A mechanical device that physically prevents the transmission or release of stored energy (such as an electrical panel switch, a pin, a valve, etc.). The term does not include a push button, selector switch, or other control circuit-type devices.

Energy source: 

Any source of electrical (above 50 volts), mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other energy that could cause personal injury.

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO): 

A procedure implemented to isolate all energy sources to protect employees from personal injury.

Lockout/Tagout device: 

Aprominent warning device, such as a lock and tag and a means of attachment that can be securely fastened to an energy isolating device in accordance with written procedures, to indicate that the energy- isolating device and equipment being controlled shall not be operated until the Lockout/Tagout device is removed. For individual LOTO, lock shall be a UM-issued keyed lock, no spare or master keys are allowed. For locking out High Voltage for outages, a combination lock is acceptable. Tag used with lock shall be a laminated or heavy paper red/black/white candy stripe card. Approved Tag is Brady, Cat. No 65367, or equivalent. Wire ties/wire wrap capable of 50-pound load shall be used where locks cannot be applied.

Servicing or maintenance: 

Workplace activities such as constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, modifying, and maintaining and/or servicing machines or equipment. These activities include lubrication, cleaning, unjamming of machines or equipment and making adjustments or tool changes, where the employee may be exposed to the unexpected energization or startup of the equipment or release of hazardous energy. (Exception: Minor adjustments and servicing activities that take place during normal operations are not covered if they are repetitive, routine, and integral to the use of the equipment, provided that the work is performed using alternative measures that provide effective protection.)

Special procedure: 

A procedure written to isolate equipment that cannot be positively locked out. This procedure should afford the employee(s) a level of protection that is equivalent to that provided by a positive lockout device.

Stored energy: 

The potential energy in a device or mechanism, which, if released, would cause a motion or discharge. Examples include energy in a compressed spring, an elevated mass, the electrical charge stored in a capacitor, energy contained in compressed air, gas, steam, water, etc.


To operate the normal operating controls to check the status of the equipment.


To establish the accuracy of the lockout. This can be accomplished simply by careful scrutiny of the lockout procedure at the lock box looking to see if it’s up-to-date, signed and/or includes exceptions. Personal inspection and testing is acceptable verification also.

Written LOTO procedure: 

A list identifying all energy sources (including backup systems), devices, and their locations that must be locked out and tagged to prevent an inadvertent startup or release of energy. A written procedure is not required if there is only one source of energy and the individuals are familiar with the necessary steps to de-energize the equipment or system.


Assistant Directors:

Assistant directors are responsible for the implementation of the LOTO policy in their departments and for the proper training of their employees. Assistant directors also are responsible for enforcing any required disciplinary action.

Shop Managers:

Shop managers are responsible for ensuring their employees are aware of the LOTO policy and that they follow all requirements. Shop managers are responsible for the implementation and verification of the LOTO procedure by the authorized employees working for them and will ensure that all employees are accounted for at the end of their assigned shift and before removing any “forgotten” locks/tags from equipment and machinery.

Shop managers also are responsible for developing shut-down procedures, written Lockout/Tagout procedures, and a checklist for locking/tagging out of equipment and machinery.

System Reliability Technician:

A qualified electrical person who will be primarily responsible for implementing LOTO procedures for the isolation of the 13kV distribution to a building or area of a building. The system reliability technician is responsible for ensuring that equipment or systems specified in the written LOTO procedure are properly locked out and tested, provide confirmation of this to those individuals who will be working on such equipment or systems, and direct them to place their personal locks and tags at the appropriate locations.

Authorized Employees:

All authorized employees are responsible for following the practices outlined in this program. Such employees must ensure that their individual lock/tag is used for all jobs requiring Lockout/Tagout and for removing their locks/tags at the end of the job or shift (whichever comes first). Authorized employees must not place or remove locks/tags other than their own.

Environmental Health and Safety Department (EHS):

EHS is responsible for auditing the training and recordkeeping and for ensuring that the LOTO policy is followed.

Purchasing Department:

Purchasing is responsible for adding a clause to all purchase orders requiring the equipment to meet the requirements of the MOSH standard on Lockout/Tagout (29 CFR 1910.147).

Purchasing also is responsible for ensuring contractors supply a copy of their Lockout/Tagout program to EHS before starting work.


Contractors shall have and will be required to supply a copy of their Lockout/Tagout program/policy to EHS. They must supply their own locks and tags and follow all provisions of the UM LOTO Policy.


The Lockout/Tagout of equipment and systems is necessary to prevent the inadvertent startup or release of energy that may cause an injury or accident to an employee. To protect employees, the requirements of the UM LOTO policy must be followed.

INDIVIDUAL Lockout/Tagout

  1. Upon the start of the job where Lockout/Tagout is required, the written LOTO procedure, if required, for that equipment or system will be obtained from the shop manager. This procedure will identify the locations of switches, valves, and safety pins that must be secured to prevent the equipment or systems from inadvertently starting or releasing stored energy. For exceptions, see Special Procedures, Page 8.
  2. The equipment or system will be shut down in a normal shut-down manner prior to Lockout/Tagout devices being placed, with controls left in the neutral or “OFF” position. Release all residual energy stored in the equipment or system. Test to ensure no residual energy remains. The system reliability technician will be involved in the LOTO procedure where required and applicable.
  3. Each authorized employee will verify that the equipment has been shut down and will then open each switch and/or turn off each valve, installing blanks, chains/cables, etc., as appropriate, or verify that such has been done.
  4. Each employee involved in the job will place their individual lock/tag on each switch, valve, or safety device required to make the equipment safe. The lock/tag must include employee’s name, department, and phone number. Employees shall not begin work before installing their personal locks/tags. No employee shall place the lock/tag for another person. No lock is to be used without a tag. Tie wrap devices shall not be used if the device is lockable.
  5. Each employee will then verify that the normal operating controls will not start the equipment or release any stored energy before the start of the job. Caution: Return operating control(s) to the neutral or “OFF” position after verification.
  6. All affected employees in the area must be notified that the equipment or system has been locked/tagged out and is inoperable.
  7. Treat all electrical connections, bus, and cables as energized until tested. Before coming in contact with any electrical connections, each employee shall use an appropriate voltage test device, or observe the test, to verify that no voltage or current exists. Use all appropriate PPE, as equipment must be treated as energized until confirmed otherwise. This is the last step of the LOTO process and repair work can now begin.
  8. At the completion of the job or at the end of the shift (whichever comes first), each employee shall remove their lock/tag. No employee shall remove the lock/tag of another person. Each oncoming employee must put their lock/tag on the equipment, verify that the equipment will not operate, and test to verify equipment is de-energized.
  9. If at the end of the job a lock/tag is left on a switch, valve or device, the individual whose name is on the lock/tag is to be contacted to return to the site to remove it. If the individual is not at work (has left for home) or cannot be contacted, the individual’s immediate supervisor or other knowledgeable management shall be called to come to the site. The supervisor shall verify that the individual whose lock/tag is remaining is not at the worksite, has completed their work, and is not able to be contacted to remove their lock/tag.

    After such verification and the supervisor determines that the lock should be removed, he shall notify all affected employees. Then and only then shall he cut and remove the lock. The supervisor shall sign the lock/tag stating that they had removed it, including the date and time that it was removed. The individual whose lock was removed must be contacted before the start of their next scheduled shift or as soon as possible to inform them that the lock/tag on the equipment in question had been removed and to re-instruct the employee on the LOTO policy.
  10. Under no circumstances shall an employee, other than a supervisor as specified in No. 9, above, remove a lock/tag of another person at any time.
  11. If the job is not complete but work has been temporarily suspended, and employees have removed their personal locks and tags, install a danger tag and any different type lock, such as a general shop lock (not individual LOTO lock) to prevent anyone from restarting the equipment. The danger tag must include department name, phone number, and date and time of application.
  12. Employees working a job for one or more shifts, locking multiple devices (four or more), shall use a lockout box. A separate, uniform keyed lock shall be used on equipment to be locked and tagged using a lockout box. After each device is locked out with a separate keyed lock and tag, the keys for such locks shall be placed inside the box. These keys must be visible from outside the lock box. Each employee shall then place their personal lock/tag on lockout box with the LOTO procedure attached.
  13. In situations where Lockout/Tagout devices must be removed temporarily from energy-isolating devices in order to energize equipment or systems for troubleshooting, testing or repositioning, see Appendix A.


  1. Equipment Not Capable of Being Locked Out:

    If the equipment to be worked on is not capable of being locked out, contact your supervisor to develop a safe working procedure. This procedure must be written and may include attaching a tag using appropriate plastic ties, removal of leads, blocking of piping with a blank, installing of special barricades, use of safetymen, and any other safe procedure that you and your supervisor deem necessary. The equipment should be made lockable as soon as possible.
  2. Written Lockout/Tagout Procedure Exception:

    The employer need not document the required procedure for a particular machine, equipment, or system when all of the following elements exists:
    1. The equipment or system has no potential for stored or residual energy or re-accumulation of stored energy after shut-down which could endanger  employees.
    2. The equipment or system has a single energy source, which can be readily identified and isolated.
    3. The isolation and locking out of that energy source will completely de-energize and deactivate the equipment or system.
    4. The equipment or system is isolated from that energy source and locked out during servicing or maintenance.
    5. A single lockout device is under the exclusive control of the authorized employee performing the servicing or maintenance.
    6. The servicing or maintenance does not create hazards for other employees.
    7. The employer, in utilizing this exception, has had no accidents involving the unexpected activation or re-energization of the equipment or system during servicing or maintenance.


  1. All employees shall receive Lockout/Tagout training. The training program will consist of contacts, classroom instruction, and on-the-job training. Documentation of training must be maintained.
  2. Employees must be retrained when there has been a change:
    1. In employee's job assignment.
    2. In machinery or equipment; or a process that creates new hazards.
    3. In energy control procedure.
  3. Employees must be retrained when an employee has been observed not following the LOTO policy.


The Lockout/Tagout procedures will be audited on an annual basis, in accordance with OSHA and MOSH standard 1910.147(c)(6), to determine the compliance with the requirements as specified within the document. The attached auditing checklist will be updated as required to ensure it remains current (see Appendix B). Another person or group other than those using the energy control procedure being audited shall audit each unit at least once per year. EHS is responsible for ensuring that all UM departments are audited at least annually.

Copies of all audits will be forwarded to the manager of the group or department being audited.


All contractors working on the UM campus will be given a copy of this policy by the Purchasing Department. Each contractor also will be required to submit a copy of their Lockout/Tagout policy/program to the designated UM EHS representative as established in the UM Electrical Safety Program, Section VIII. Contractors will follow the Lockout/Tagout requirements specified in this UM Lockout/Tagout Policy.