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Lockout/Tagout means protecting employees from equipment startup or energy release while they are working on or servicing machinery. The person working on the equipment disconnects it and locks it off until they are done. No one else has access to the lock. That way, no one else can turn it on and accidentally injure someone. Dozens of construction workers are killed every year because they did not turn off equipment or lock it out before working on it. Most were electrocuted, but some workers were crushed or lost limbs.

Here is an Example

Luke was cleaning the unguarded side of an operating band saw. He was suddenly caught in the moving parts of the saw and pulled into a nip point between the blade and the idler wheel, resulting in fatal injuries. This accident was caused by the failure to shut down or turn off the equipment to perform maintenance.

  1. How could this have been avoided?
  2. Do you know anyone who has been injured while handling equipment they thought was turned off? If so, what happened?


  • Determine sources of energy that need to be locked out: electrical, mechanical, gravitational, thermal, hydraulic, pneumatic, and chemical.
  • Properly shut down equipment/machines
    • Apply locks to electrical circuits so power cant restart the machine
    • Verbally notify all employees about the shutdown.
    • Test to see if the machine is properly locked out by pushing the start button.
    • After the work is completed notify all employees about the removal of the locks and impending restart.