Lockout-Tagout, Training

Lockout/Tagout: Who Needs to Know What?


Yesterday we looked at the 10 steps OSHA requires authorized lockout/tagout (LOTO) employees to follow. Today we turn to the LOTO standard’s training requirements and look at a tool that takes the pain out of providing LOTO training.


As we discussed yesterday, OSHA’s LOTO standard (29 CFR 1910.147) requires you to train three groups of employees:


1. Authorized employees. As a general rule, this group might include your electricians, maintenance personnel, and some machine operators. These workers are the only ones allowed by OSHA to perform LOTO.


Each authorized employee must be trained in the recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources, the type and magnitude of energy sources available in the workplace, and the methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control. Training for authorized employees must include:


  • Recognition of hazardous energy

  • Type and magnitude of energy found in the workplace

  • The means and methods of isolating and/or controlling energy

  • The means of verification of effective energy control, and the purpose of the procedures to be used



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2. Affected employees. This group consists primarily of those who work with machines but aren’t authorized to perform LOTO.


Affected employees must be instructed in the purpose and use of the energy control procedure. Employees who exclusively perform functions related to normal production operations and who perform servicing and/or maintenance under the protection of normal machine safeguarding need only be trained as affected employees even if tagout procedures are used.


3. Other employees. This group consists of anyone else who works in an area where LOTO procedures are used.


All of these employees must be trained not to start locked or tagged equipment, and not to remove or ignore lockout/tagout devices.


Tagout Training


Employees must be trained in the following limitations of tags:


  • Tags are essentially warning devices affixed to energy isolating devices, and do not provide the physical restraint on those devices that are provided by a lock.

  • When a tag is attached to an energy isolating means, it is not to be removed without authorization of the authorized person responsible for it, and it is never to be bypassed, ignored, or otherwise defeated.

  • Tags must be legible and understandable by all authorized employees, affected employees, and all other employees whose work operations are or may be in the area, in order to be effective.

  • Tags and their means of attachment must be made of materials that will withstand the environmental conditions encountered in the workplace.

  • Tags may cause a false sense of security, and their meaning needs to be understood as part of the overall energy control program.

  • Tags must be securely attached to energy isolating devices so that they cannot be inadvertently or accidentally detached during use.


Employee retraining


Retraining must be provided whenever there is a change in an employee’s job assignments, a change in machines, equipment, or processes that present a new hazard, a change in the energy control procedures, or whenever an employee demonstrates a lack of knowledge or skill in lockout/tagout procedures.


Certification of training


Employers must certify that lockout/tagout training has been accomplished and updated when such training has taken place. The certification must contain each employee’s name and dates of training.


So, how best to satisfy these extensive training requirements and protect your workforce? Our editors recommend the BLR program, Interactive CD Course: Lockout/Tagout.


This powerful, self-paced computer-based training (CBT) course uses emotional appeal—one of the most powerful educational motivators known—to drive the message home, which helps make it, in one reader’s words, “unforgettable.”



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For example, at one point the course asks workers to consider how they would feel if they inadvertently reenergized equipment and caused the death of a co-worker. It notes such emotionally painful consequences as:


–Talking with the police
–Talking to co-workers just after the accident
–Telling your family members what happened
–Going to the victim’s memorial service and seeing the victim’s family members
–Going to therapy or counseling


Those are the kinds of resonating lessons that employees don’t soon forget. The program also presents these other advantages:


–Practical CD-ROM format. Employees train at their own pace, with no need for a fast Internet connection.
–Effective training on all OSHA-specified mandatory concepts. Proper entry permit procedures, rescue techniques, and required PPE, among others, are covered.
–Individual CBT training. No need to actively supervise the learning, freeing your time for other activities.


Because computer-based-training has to be experienced to be appreciated, we’ve arranged for you to try the program in your own workplace, with your own people, at no cost for up to 30 days before deciding whether to purchase. If it’s not for you, we’ll pay for its return.


Just click here, and we’ll be happy to set things up.