Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is lockout?

Lockout is the placement of a lockout device on an energy isolating devices, 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.

What is tagout?

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?

  • This lockout/tagout presentation is available and can assist employers in training their staff.  The presentation should be modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards.

  • Example lockout/tagout programs are available which should be customized to fit workplace conditions and equipment.

In addition, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). 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.



What standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standard for lockout/tagout in North Carolina:

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

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 ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-807-2875.