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Lockout Tagout Program

Lockout/Tagout is the practice and procedure to verify equipment has been isolated from its energy source. This is done to isolate all energy sources to prevent the release of stored energy during construction, servicing, or maintenance. Isolation and safety are ensured by applying locks and tags to equipment. Energy sources covered by this program include electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and any other sources in machines or equipment, which may be hazardous to workers.


If you require lockout/tagout tags or training contact the Safety Programs Manager or visit the EHSS office in the Physical Science Building in Room 105 or 104B. 

logo with phrase 'lock out tag out saves lives' on it

The primary purpose of the lockout/tagout program is to first and foremost protect employees and to encourage employees to follow approved methods of protection that are compliant with OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.147(a)(3)(i).  The central goal is to prohibit the release of stored energy by disabling machines or equipment and affixing a positive means of lockout/tagout devices. Energy is typically stored in one of five common forms including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, thermal, and pneumatic. 

There are two types of employees that lockout/tagout applies to.

Affected Employees

The first are affected employees who are required to operate or use machines/equipment that may need to undergo lockout/tagout for maintenance or repair. Affected individuals do not directly maintain or service the equipment, but may be in the area while maintenance is being performed.

Affected employees include but are not limited to: 

  • custodians
  • landscapers 
  • carpenters 
  • locksmiths 

Authorized Employees

Authorized Employees include personnel who are directly responsible for the maintenance, repair, and lockout/tagout of hazardous energy equipment. Authorized Employees are those who would be exposed to danger in the event of unexpected energization or startup. This can include but is not limited to employees required to remove or bypass machine guards or other safety devices, and employees required to place part of their body into a point of danger in the machine or equipment.

Authorized Employees include but are not limited to: 

  • elevator maintenance personnel
  • electricians
  • utility craftsmen
  • HVAC specialists

A wide range of activities are covered under the lockout/tagout regulations and essentially includes anything that has the potential to release a dangerous amount of any kind of energy. Energy is often associated with electrical energy but also includes mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and other types of energy.

Activities around equipment that may result in energy releases include:

  • construction 
  • installation 
  • adjustment
  • inspection
  • maintenance/servicing


Some employees are not required to have full lockout/tagout training but are required to have a general awareness of what lockout/tagout is so that they don't disturb devices that are under lockout/tagout. This includes any employee who may frequently enter mechanical rooms but doesn't physically interact with the equipment and guards. This most commonly includes custodians. Additionally, this standard does not apply to employees who wouldn't be exposed to the machine directly if it were to release unexpected energy. This includes employees who enter mechanical spaces for basic inspections that do not remove guards.

The most common exemption to lockout/tagout is employees servicing equipment that can be unplugged and doesn't store energy.


There are two types of employees required to undergo different forms of lockout/tagout training depending on their responsibilities. The first type are affected employees whose training is less in-depth and typically includes employees who are only in the general area and don't directly maintain or repair the hazardous equipment. Affected employees include custodians, landscapers, public safety, and carpenters. The other type of employee training is for authorized employees who are the employees that work on or in the hazard after isolating its source and locking or tagging the equipment. Authorized employee training is more in-depth and applies to positions such as elevator servicers, electricians, utility craftsmen, and HVAC specialists. 

Affected employees are required to: 

  • Recognize the ISU energy control procedures
  • Have awareness of hazardous energy sources they work with

Authorized employees are required to: 

  • Identify the hazardous energy sources
  • Be familiar with the types and magnitude of energy 
  • Learn the methods for energy isolation/control 


Hazardous Energy Control OSHA

Lockout/Tagout Guide Document