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Top 5 Elements of an Effective LOTO Program

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is consistently in the top 10 of OSHA citations. Companies across the country do not take the time or make the investment to develop an adequate LOTO program.


Here are five things you need to know in order to establish a successful LOTO program:

  1. Understand LOTO. This is a process created by OSHA that is used to prevent the unexpected release of energy during maintenance/servicing of equipment. The goal is to ensure that the employee is not exposed to hazardous energy while performing maintenance tasks, which is accomplished by placing locks and tags on energy isolation devices prior to starting work.lock out tag out lock and tag
  2. Know the various forms of hazardous energy. Many people assume LOTO is only related to electrical energy, but there are several other types of energy that are potentially very dangerous.
    hazardous energy control diagram
  1. Know the difference between authorized and affected employees. An authorized employee is someone who locks or tags out machines to perform maintenance or servicing. Additionally, an affected employee is someone whose job requires him/her to operate a machine or equipment that requires maintenance or servicing.
    affected and authorized workers
  1. Develop machine-specific LOTO procedures. It is crucial to have directions to lockout each machine readily available for the authorized employee. These procedures should be very specific and include pictures to identify where each energy source is located and how to perform LOTO.
    include all of the elements graph
  1. Train your employees. You should regularly train your employees on the importance of LOTO. This includes the hazards associated with it and how it affects their work. Keeping your employees educated will help them be safer and happier in the workplace. It is more than worth the investment of time and money!
    lock out and tag out trained logo