Crest for Policies 

Policy E8
Policy Name: Lockout/Tagout
Responsibility for Maintenance: Facilities

Date of most recent changes April 14, 2014

I. Policy Statement  

Onondaga Community College requires that all departments within the College establish and fulfill requirements for affixing the appropriate Lockout/Tagout signage and locks to energy isolating devices, and to otherwise disable machines, equipment or processes to prevent unexpected energizing, start-up, or the release of stored electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other energy.

II. Reason for Policy  

This policy is specifically intended to prevent injuries to employees and contractors engaged in service and/or maintenance activities on machines, equipment, or processes where the release of stored energy may put them at serious risk. This policy is intended to ensure the College’s compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.1  

III. Applicability of the Policy  

This policy applies to all employees, contractors, supervisors, and department heads who work with or near the servicing and/or maintenance of machines or equipment that may unexpectedly start up or release stored energy.

IV. Related Documents  

Applicable provisions of OSHA Standards - 29 CFR 1910.147 

V. Contacts  

Subject Office Name Title or Position Telephone Number Email/URL
Activities needing/causing utility interruption

Installation of new machines or equipment 

Facilities Director of Building Services (315) 498-7249 [email protected]  

VI. Definitions  

Term Definition
Affected Employee A person whose job requires him/her to operate or use a machine or equipment on which servicing and/or maintenance is being performed under Lockout or Tagout, or whose job requires him/her to work in an area in which such servicing and/or maintenance is being performed.
Affected Unit Any department within the College that contains machinery or equipment subject to Lockout or Tagout procedures.
Authorized Employee A person who locks out or tags out machines or equipment to perform servicing and/or maintenance on that particular item. An Affected Employee becomes an Authorized Employee when that employee’s duties include servicing and/or maintenance on machines or equipment covered under this policy.
Blocking Tag A Tagout Device that indicates the use of chains, wedges, key blocks, adapter pins, or self-locking fasteners for isolating, securing or blocking of equipment from energy sources.
Energy Isolating Device A mechanical device that physically prevents the transmission or release of energy, including but not limited to the following: a manually operated electrical circuit breaker; a disconnect switch; a manually operated switch by which the conductors of a circuit can be disconnected from all ungrounded supply conductors, and, in addition, no pole can be operated independently; a line valve; a block; and any similar device used to block or isolate energy. Push buttons, selector switches and other control circuit type devices are not energy isolating devices.
Hot Tap A procedure used in repair, maintenance, and service activities that involves welding a piece of equipment (pipelines, vessels or tanks) under pressure to install connections or appurtenances.
Lockout The placement of a lockout device on an energy isolating device according to an established procedure; this ensures that the energy isolating device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the Lockout Device is removed.
Lockout Device A device that uses a lock, either key or combination type, to hold an energy isolating device in a safe position and prevent the energizing of a machine or other equipment. Included are blank flanges and bolted slip blinds.
Normal Operations The utilization of a machine or other equipment to perform its intended function.
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Servicing and/or Maintenance Workplace activities such as constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, modifying, and maintaining and/or servicing machines or other equipment. These activities include lubrication, cleaning or un-jamming of machines or other equipment and making adjustments or tool changes, where the employee/user may be exposed to the unexpected energization or start-up of the equipment or release of hazardous energy
Tagout The placement of a Tagout Device on an energy isolating device, cording to 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.
Tagout Device A prominent warning device, such as a tag and a means of attachment, which can be securely fastened to an energy isolating device according to 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.

VII. Procedures  

Scope of This Policy: The following situations are not subject to the procedures outlined in this document:

  • Work on plug and cord type electrical equipment, for which exposure to the hazards of unexpected energizing, start up, or the release of stored energy of the equipment is effectively controlled by the unplugging of the equipment from the energy sources and by the plug being under the exclusive control of the employee/user performing the servicing and/or maintenance;
  • Hot Tap operations involving transmission and distribution systems for substances such as gas, steam, water, or petroleum products when they are performed on pressurized pipelines provided that it is clear that continuity of service is essential, shutdown of the system is impractical, and documented procedures and special equipment are implemented which will provide proven and effective protection for employees/users;
  • Service and/or Maintenance that takes place during normal production operations, such as lubricating, cleaning, and making minor adjustments and simple tool changes, except when an employee/user is required to place any part of his/her body into an area on a machine or piece of equipment where work is actually performed upon the materials being processed (i.e., point of operation) or where an associated danger zone exists during a machine operating cycle.
  • Each department is responsible for the development of specific energy control procedures for each machine or other equipment within its respective areas of responsibility.

General Policy Provisions  

  • The head of each department is responsible for the implementation of these procedures to ensure the safety of the employees. These procedures apply to the control of energy sources during service, installation, removal, or maintenance of machines or equipment.
  • Procedures that affect the control of hazardous energy require:
    • shutting off the equipment or machine;
    • locating the Energy Isolating Devices and isolating the equipment or machinery from them;
    • locking or tagging out the Energy Isolating Devices;
    • reducing or eliminating stored residual energy;
    • verifying the effectiveness of the energy isolation.
  • All employees are required to comply with the restrictions and limitations imposed upon them during the use of a Lockout Device. The Authorized Employees are further required to perform the Lockout according to requirements in the procedures established within their department.
  • All employees, upon observing a machine or piece of equipment that is locked out to perform Service and/or Maintenance, must not attempt to start, energize, or use that machine or equipment.
  • All employees/users must remove a Lockout Device before leaving the campus upon completion of a job.
  • Whenever a machine or equipment is replaced, repaired, renovated, or modified, or whenever a new machine or equipment is installed, energy isolating devices that are designed to accept a Lockout Device must be used.
  • Violators should immediately be reported to the appropriate administrative head of each department.

Sequence of Lockout or Tagout System Procedures  

1. When servicing and/or maintaining an activity that requires or causes a utility interruption, notify Facilities for coordination with appropriate utilities procedures.

2. When activating a life safety system, e.g., fire suppression or fire alarm, notify Facilities, Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety, and Campus Safety and Security.

3. Notify all Affected Employees that a Lockout or Tagout system is going to be utilized and give the reason for that utilization because that person will know the type and magnitude of energy that the machine or equipment uses and will be able to explain the hazards involved.

4. If the machine or equipment is operating, shut it down by the normal stopping procedure (depress stop button, open toggle switch, etc.).

5. Operate the switch, valve or other energy isolating device(s) so that the equipment is disconnected from its energy source(s). Stored energy (such as that in springs, elevated machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems, and air, gas, steam, or water pressure, etc.) must be dissipated or restrained by methods such as re-positioning, blocking, bleeding down, etc.

Caution: Substations must be racked down and locked out in case of high voltage electrical distribution systems. At the building end of the feeder, the incoming breaker or switch must also be racked down or opened and locked out. This prevents a back feed on the system through a local buss tie breaker.

6. Attach the Lockout Devices to secure the energy isolating devices in the “safe” or “off” position.

7. Verify that no personnel are exposed and check that the energy sources have been disconnected by checking the normal operating controls.

Caution: You must return operating controls to their “neutral” or “off” positions after the test.

8. When the use of Lockout procedures is impossible, clearly place a Tagout Device to indicate that the operation or movement of energy isolating devices from the “safe” or “off” position is prohibited.

9. When possible, place the tags at the same point at which a Lockout would have been attached. If this is not feasible, locate the tag as closely as safety allows to the device in a position that will be immediately obvious to anyone who attempts to operate the device.

Caution: Tags may promote a false sense of security.

10. The equipment is now locked out or tagged out. Do not attempt to operate any switch, valve, or other energy isolating device where it is locked out or tagged out.

11. All locked out equipment must be reported to the shift supervisor when locked out and when returned to normal service.

Restoring Machines or Equipment to Normal Operations  

When the Servicing and/or Maintenance is completed and the equipment is ready to be returned to normal operating condition, take the following steps:

1. Check the equipment and area to ensure that all nonessential items and tools have been removed and that the equipment is operationally intact.

2. Check to ensure that all employees/users have been safely positioned or removed from the area.

3. Verify that the controls are in neutral.

4. Remove the Lockout Devices and re-energize.

Caution: Some types of blocking may require re-energization of the equipment before the blocking material may be removed safely.

5. Report to the shift supervisor when the equipment is returned to normal service.

Acquiring New or Modifying Old Equipment  

  • When replacing, repairing, renovating or modifying a machine or other equipment, or when installing new machines or equipment, ensure those machines and equipment are designed to accept a Lockout Device.
  • Purchase of equipment that is covered by this policy, whether through contract or Management Services, must comply with the requirements for Energy Isolating Devices.

When More Than One Person is Involved  

  • When more than one person is required to Lockout or Tagout equipment, each must place his/her own personal Lockout Device or Tagout Device on the Energy Isolating Device(s).
  • When an Energy Isolating Device cannot accept multiple locks or tags, use a Lockout or Tagout Device (hasp) which can accept multiple locks or use a single lock to Lockout the machine or equipment, placing the key in a Lockout box or cabinet which allows the use of multiple locks to secure it.
  • Each employee must use his/her own lock to secure the box or cabinet. When each person no longer needs to maintain his/her Lockout protection, that person will remove his/her lock from the box or cabinet.

Requirements for Lockout/Tagout Devices  

  • Lockout and Tagout Devices must be standardized throughout the College. Each Lockout and Tagout Device must indicate the identity of the Authorized Employee using the device and must warn against the re-energizing of the equipment. Departments must supply all of their Authorized Employees/users with an adequate number of Lockout and Tagout Devices for their areas of responsibility.
  • Employees must Lockout and/or Tagout the Energy Isolating Devices with assigned lock(s) or tag(s).
  • The Lockout/Tagout Device must be readily identifiable and must not be used for any purpose other than energy control.
  • The following conditions must also be met:

  • Locks must be individually keyed.
  • One key must remain in the possession of the Authorized Employee, the other must be placed in a secure location in the appropriate supervisor’s office.
  • In case of a dire emergency condition, the supervisor may use the foreman’s key to remove the Lockout after it has been established that all safety precautions for removal of the Lockout Device have been observed.
  • Blocking tags must be provided for those disconnect means where no locking ring is available.
  • The Authorized Employee’s name and the date when placed will be put on each tag.


Facilities will coordinate with the office of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety training to all Authorized Employees/users to ensure that the purpose and function of the energy control procedures are understood. The training must provide employees/users the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe application, usage, and removal of the energy controls that are required. Training sessions must be scheduled when needed for any new personnel who may require hazardous energy control training.

1. Facilities must ensure that Authorized Employees are familiar with the applicable hazardous energy sources and the methods of isolation or control.

2. Departments with Authorized Employees or Affected Employees must provide specific training for their respective areas of responsibility. They must also provide the following:

  1. Retraining of Authorized Employees/users whenever there is a change in energy control procedures, assignments, equipment or a new hazard is encountered;
  2. Instruction to Affected Employees/users in the purpose and procedure of energy control;
  3. Instruction of all other employees/users who work in the area in the procedure and the prohibitions for attempting to restart equipment that has been locked out and/or tagged out;
  4. Instruction of all other employees/users in the use and limitations of the Tagout system.


The Office of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety must conduct periodic inspections of the Lockout/Tagout Policy procedures during building inspections to ensure that the energy control procedures and requirements are being followed. Additionally, Facilities must correct any inadequacies in and/or deviations from the procedure noted during periodic inspection.

  • Each department head must respond to the Office of Sustainability and Environmental Health and Safety within 90 days that the problem has been corrected.
  • The success of the correction must be ascertained by the inspector during a review with the authorized and Affected Employees/users.
  • Enforcement of this procedure must be in accordance with disciplinary procedures established by the Human Resource Department.


1 The OSHA Lockout/Tagout standard has been adopted by the New York State Commissioner of Labor as an applicable standard for the health and safety of public employees.

Approved by OCC Board of Trustees April 3, 2006

Updated and approved by the President April 14, 2014