Skip Navigation

Course 710 - Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout)

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier
Energy isolation devices locked and tagged.

Materials and Hardware

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Devices

You must provide protective materials and hardware required for LOTO procedures.

You must provide locks, tags, chains, wedges, key blocks, adapter pins, self-locking fasteners, or other hardware for isolating, securing or blocking machines or equipment from their energy sources.

As mentioned in Module 1, lockout/tagout devices hold energy-isolation devices in a safe or "off" position. To the right are a few examples of locks and tags used to lockout or tagout main disconnects, line valves, and circuit breakers.

1. Lockout/tagout devices hold _____ in a safe or "off" position.

a. selector buttons
b. energy-isolation devices
c. moving parts
d. sensors and meters

Next Section

LOTO devices must be substantial - not easily defeated.

Hardware Requirements

There are specific requirements for LOTO devices to make sure they fulfill the purpose for which they are used. They must ensure authorized employees are safe from injury while working on equipment and machinery.

LOTO devices must prevent other workers from accidentally energizing equipment or machinery while authorized employees are exposed to the various hazards of unexpected startup or shutdown.

To do that, LOTO devices must be substantial enough to prevent removal without the use of excessive force or unusual techniques such as with the use of bolt cutters or other metal cutting tools.

2. According to the lockout/tagout standard, LOTO devices must be _____, so they are capable of withstanding the environment to which they are exposed.

a. usable
b. painted
c. rust-proof
d. durable

Next Section

LOTO Device Criteria

LOTO devices must be standardized within the facility.

There are many requirements for the lockout and tagout devices:

  • Durable. LOTO devices must be durable, so that they are capable of withstanding the environment to which they are exposed for the maximum period of time that exposure is expected. Lockout devices must work under the environmental conditions in which they are used.
  • Substantial. Lockout devices and tagout devices must be strong enough that they can't be removed inadvertently. Tagout devices must be attached with a single-use, self-locking material such as a nylon cable tie.
  • Singular. Must be singularly identified.
  • Sole purpose. They must be used only for controlling energy. They must not be used for other purposes.
  • Standardized. They must be standardized within the facility in at least one of the following criteria: color, shape, or size.
  • Identifiable. Any employee who sees a lockout or tagout device must recognize who attached it and understand its purpose. Each lock must have a unique key or combination; this means that only the employee who uses the lock has the key or the combination to that lock.
  • Payment. The employer must pay for and provide lockout and tagout devices to employees who need to shut down equipment to service or maintain it.

3. To prevent lockout/tagout devices from being removed inadvertently, they must be ____.

a. uniquely keyed
b. one color
c. labeled
d. substantial

Next Section

Tagout Device Criteria

Tagout devices must meet specific requirements.

In addition to the requirements listed previously, tagout devices must meet the following specific hardware requirements:

  • Durable. Tags must be constructed and printed so that exposure to weather conditions or wet and damp locations will not cause the tag to deteriorate or the message on the tag to become illegible. They must not deteriorate when used in corrosive environments such as areas where acid and alkali chemicals are handled and stored.
  • Legible. Warnings on tagout devices must be legible even in wet, damp, or corrosive conditions.
  • Standardized. Tags must be standardized in print and format.
  • Substantial. Tags must be substantial to prevent inadvertent or accidental removal.
  • Attachment. Tags must have an attachment means of a non-reusable type, attachable by hand, self-locking, and non-releasable with a minimum unlocking strength of no less than 50 pounds and having the general design and basic characteristics of being at least equivalent to a one-piece all-environment-tolerant nylon cable tie.
  • Warning. Tags must warn against hazardous conditions if the machine or equipment is energized. Remember, tags only warn: they do not protect.
  • Legend. Tags must include a legend such as: Do Not Start, Do Not Open, Do Not Close, Do Not Energize, Do Not Operate.

You can view some more examples of lockout/tagout devices from CAL-OSHA

4. Tagout devices must have a minimum unlocking strength of no less than _____ pounds.

a. 20
b. 50
c. 30
d. 70

Check your Work

Click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and recheck your answers.



From January 2000 to December 2008, there were 17 MSHA fatalities related to accidents due to failure to follow proper lockout/tagout procedures in coal mining operations. This short video shows what can happen instantly when lockout/tagout procedures are not followed.

Next Module

OSHAcademy Ultimate Guide Banner Ad