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Course 710 - Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout)

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Energy Control Program Components

Management's Obligation

Identify equipment and machinery that require written procedures.

Although there is no requirement to develop a written LOTO Program, you do have the obligation to develop, document, and make sure employees use specific written LOTO procedures for authorized employees to control potentially hazardous energy when they perform servicing or maintenance. Well-written energy control procedures accurately instruct authorized employees to do all of the following:

  • Inform all affected employees of equipment shutdown
  • Shut down equipment in the proper order
  • Identify and engage energy-isolating devices or block hazardous energy
  • Lockout or tagout the energy-isolating devices
  • Remove, drain, neutralize, or block any potential (stored) energy
  • Verify the equipment is isolated from hazardous energy and rendered inoperative

Best Practice: It is considered a best practice to have a written program, or policy, to support the energy control program, in addition to clearly outlining expectations and accountability.

1. Authorized employees must be provided _____ when they perform servicing or maintenance.

a. OSHA 10-hour training
b. written certification
c. written LOTO procedures
d. a LOTO program manual

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Energy Control Procedures

Electricity is not the only hazard!
(Click to enlarge)

Written LOTO procedures must be developed, documented and used for the control of potentially hazardous energy when employees are engaged in activities covered by 1910.147.


The employer need not document in writing the required procedure for a particular machine or equipment, when all of the following 8 elements exist:

  1. The machine or equipment has no potential for stored or residual energy or reaccumulation of stored energy after shut down which could endanger employees.
  2. The machine or equipment has a single energy source which can be readily identified and isolated.
  3. The isolation and locking out of the energy source will completely deenergize and deactivate the machine or equipment.
  4. The machine or equipment is isolated from the energy source and locked out during servicing or maintenance.
  5. A single lockout device will achieve a lock-out condition.
  6. The lockout device is under the exclusive control of the authorized employee performing the servicing or maintenance.
  7. The servicing or maintenance does not create hazards for other employees.
  8. The employer, in utilizing this exception, has had no accidents involving the unexpected activation or reenergization of the machine or equipment during servicing or maintenance.

2. Which of the following is one of the 8 criteria that must be satisfied before an employer is not required to develop and use written lockout/tagout procedures?

a. Multiple lockout are necessary to achieve a lock-out condition
b. A single lockout device will achieve a lock-out condition
c. The employer has only had minor accidents involving unexpected activation of the machine
d. Identified energy sources may not cause serious injuries during maintenance

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LOTO Procedure Scope, Purpose, and Authority

What is the scope and purpose of the LOTO procedure? Who authorizes the procedure?

Written procedures for equipment with one or more sources of energy must clearly and specifically outline the following:

  • Scope. The scope of lockout/tagout procedures may be limited to a single piece of equipment of machinery or a group of similar pieces of equipment or machinery.
  • Purpose. The purpose of the procedures is to ensure the unexpected energization/startup or shutdown does not occur during servicing or maintenance activities.
  • Authority. The responsible manager authorizes the procedures and ensures specific rules/techniques are listed within the procedures.
  • Compliance. The procedures must state the means to be used to enforce compliance. Typically, this requirement is met by stating the procedure is mandatory and may result in disciplinary action if not followed.

3. The scope of lockout/tagout procedures may be limited to _____.

a. all identified equipment/machinery
b. a single piece or a group of similar equipment/machinery
c. all equipment/machinery within a process
d. any group of equipment/machinery from the same manufacturer

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LOTO Procedure Components

Discuss the steps for proper equipment shutdown and isolation.

At a minimum, the procedures must include the points listed below.

  • Intent. A specific statement of the intended use of the procedure.
  • Procedure steps. Specific procedural steps for shutting down, isolating, blocking, and securing machines or equipment to control hazardous energy.
  • Devices and authority. Specific procedural steps for the placement, removal, and transfer of lockout devices or tagout devices, and a description of who has responsibility for them.
  • Testing. Specific requirements for testing a machine or piece of equipment to determine and verify the effectiveness of lockout devices, tagout devices, and other energy control measures.

Best Practice: Place "machine-specific" energy control procedures at the location of the equipment. Include photographs of the energy-isolating devices specific to the equipment.

4. Specific lockout/tagout procedural steps are required for _____.

a. reviewing OSHA equipment rules
b. identifying equipment
c. isolating equipment
d. assigning authorized employees

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New or Modified Equipment

All equipment purchased after 1990, such as these wind turbines, must be capable of being locked out.

All new machines and equipment, or all machines and equipment that undergo major repair, renovations or modification, must be equipped with energy-isolating devices capable of accepting a lockout device.

Whenever replacement or major repair, renovation or modification of a machine or equipment is performed, and whenever new machines or equipment are installed, energy isolating devices for such machine(s) or equipment must be designed to accept a lockout device.

That's about it for a discussion of the basic components of the ECP. Remember, make sure all three components have been developed and deployed. If OSHA comes inspecting, they will not cut you any slack when it comes to the LOTO program because if something goes wrong, a serious injury or fatality is likely to result.

5. Whenever new machines or equipment are installed or replaced, energy isolating devices for such machine(s) or equipment must _____.

a. be designed to accept a lockout device
b. be installed with tagout devices until operational
c. meet strict NFPA standards for lockout/tagout
d. have OSHA/Manufacturer identification plates attached

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Energy Control Program

This WP Melbourne video gives a pretty good introduction to the Energy Control Program.

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