Lockout is the placement of a lockout device on an energy isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to ensure that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.
Tagout is the placement of a tagout device on an energy isolating device, in accordance with an established procedure, to indicate that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.
What are the hazards associated with lockout/tagout?
Failure to implement and observe lockout/tagout procedures can result in serious bodily injury (e.g., amputation, electrical burns) and death as a result of the unexpected energization or start up of the machines or equipment, or release of stored energy.
What are the energy sources associated with lockout/tagout?
Any source of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other energy.
What can I do to protect myself?
Employees who are authorized to service and perform maintenance on equipment should always ensure that the equipment has been locked out or tagged out in accordance with established procedures before beginning work. Servicing of cord and plug electric equipment that can be deenergized solely by unplugging the equipment from an electrical outlet when the plug remains under the exclusive control of the employee performing the servicing and maintenance does not require lockout/tagout.
What resources are available to assist employers?
Training and Outreach
The lockout/tagout and electrical safety presentations are available to assist employers in training their staff. In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. This pre-recorded webinar on the control of hazardous energy (Lockout/Tagout) can also be accessed at any time.
The NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).
Safety and Health Programs
A-Z Safety and Health Topics
The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.
What standards apply?
OSH has adopted the following standards for lockout/tagout in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic.
29 CFR 1910.147 - the control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout)
Maritime, Shipyard Employment
29 CFR 1915.89 - control of hazardous energy (lockout/tags-plus)
Other related standards include:
- 29 CFR Part 1910 Subpart O - machinery and machine guarding
- 29 CFR Part 1910 Subpart S - electrical safety
- 29 CFR Part 1926 Subpart K - electrical safety
Maritime, Shipyard Employment
- 29 CFR Part 1915 Subpart J - ship's machinery and piping systems
Other Applicable Standards
The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.
Where can I learn more?
Operational Procedure Notice: OPN 149 - Special Emphasis Program for Amputations establishes the OSH Division's enforcement policy for safety and health inspections where employees may be exposed to amputation hazards on machinery due to lack of guarding and/or failure to utilize energy control procedures.
Compliance Directive: CPL 02-00-147, Control of Hazardous Energy, establishes enforcement policy and provides an explanation of the lockout/tagout standard to ensure uniform enforcement.
Compliance Directive: CPL 02-01-043, Slide Locks, establishes enforcement policies, inspection procedures and performance guideline criteria for the safe design, construction, installation, testing, maintenance and use of slide-locks used for the control of hazardous energy on machinery
Industry Guide 48 - OSHA Construction Industry Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training, provides requirements for standards related to the control of hazardous energy in construction.
Industry Guide 49 - OSHA General Industry Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training, provides requirements for standards related to the control of hazardous energy in general industry.
Industry Guide 53 - OSHA Shipyard Employment Standards Requiring Programs, Inspections, Procedures, Records and/or Training, highlights the requirements of standards related to control of hazardous energy in shipyard employment.
If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to email@example.com or by calling 919-707-7876.