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Understanding Lockout Tagout Training

Understanding Lockout Tagout Training

Lockout/Tagout training is the OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy. Also referred to as LOTO. Lockout/Tagout identifies, addresses, and lays out safeguards to protect workers who typically handle machinery and equipment capable of releasing energy surges during servicing or maintenance, such as those in power plants and the energy sector.

LOTO training is required by OSHA, which has created standards for various hazardous energies. Employers in the energy sector must offer a LOTO program to maintain the safety and well-being of their workers, remain OSHA compliant, and avoid severe and costly penalties and fines.

What Is Lockout/Tagout Training?

LOTO training is an overview of procedures to protect employees if a machine or other equipment starts up unexpectedly, causing injuries. The training that these workers receive focuses on both procedures to follow if a hazard were to occur and how to prevent any issues from occurring. Employees working around potentially hazardous machines receive this training before starting work.

OSHA requires LOTO training and offers standards that address numerous types of hazardous energy, including, but not limited to:

  • pneumatic
  • thermal
  • electrical
  • mechanical
  • hydraulic

Who Needs It?

Employees and workers who work on and /or around potentially hazardous machines and equipment require lockout/Tagout training. LOTO training exists to protect employees at risk for potential dangers in the workplace. Furthermore, it exists for those exposed to serious physical harm, hazards, or possible death if energy and energy sources are not controlled.

How Often Is Lockout /Tagout Training Required?

When considering the frequency of LOTO Training for employees around machines and devices that could cause a hazard, providing training is necessary. The ultimate goal of LOTO training is to keep employees safe from harm. Companies should train employees entering the workforce before entering work. Afterward, employees should be refreshed annually to ensure they understand all necessary procedures and requirements.

LOTO Safety Training Requirements

LOTO requires a basic understanding of machinery and energy sources for all employees who may come in contact with those machines. Therefore, OSHA requires that LOTO training covers a variety of topics, such as:

  • how each employee’s specific position relates to LOTO training as a whole
  • how the LOTO procedure is relevant to each employee’s job and position
  • the various requirements of OSHA’s Lockout/Tagout standards are identified within each individual LOTO program

LOTO training must also include identifying different energy sources posing a potential threat. LOTO programs should teach employees how to control these energy sources while specifically focusing on training procedures.

The Steps to LOTO Training

LOTO training occurs in a couple of steps, which include:

  • introducing the LOTO terms,
  • explaining roles for affected employees,
  • outlining training,
  • explaining when to use lockout,
  • discussing Tagout, and
  • outlining the steps as a whole

The first step is always to introduce the terms that will be used during LOTO training. Lockout means putting a lock on a switch, valve, or another energy device to keep energy from flowing to the machine or equipment, which helps prevent any potential hazards from occurring. Tagout means applying a warning tag to a device that cannot get a lock. Tagout is not as effective as lockout but can still prevent hazards.

The next step is to explain the roles of affected employees in the facility. For example, an affected employee works alongside machinery that can be locked or tagged in an area where LOTO procedures are used. Since many employees work alongside this machinery, they need LOTO training to properly understand the procedures.

The next step is to outline the training as a whole. Afterwar training has occurred, employees should be able to identify and describe the potential energy in the workplace, recognize which energy sources are potentially dangerous, explain the methods they need to use for LOTO, and perform the procedures.

Employees should have an understanding of when to use Lockout versus Tagout. Lockout should be used when the employees have control over the machine’s energy sources. If the employees do not have control, you must use a Tagout system instead.

After employees understand basic LOTO procedures and use, they need to understand how to apply them in real-world situations. Once employees understand and complete LOTO, they are ready to work.

6 Key Components of an Effective LOTO Training Program

An effective Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) training program is crucial for ensuring workplace safety, especially in environments where the unexpected release of hazardous energy could occur. Here are several key components that make a LOTO training program effective:

  1. Identification of Energy Sources:
  • Training must cover the identification of all types of energy sources that workers might encounter, including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, and thermal energies. Understanding the hazards associated with each energy source is crucial.
  1. Detailed Procedures for Lockout and Tagout:
  • Detailed, step-by-step procedures for applying lockout or tagout devices to energy-isolating devices should be a central part of the training. This includes instructions on how to properly shut down equipment, how to apply and remove lockout/tagout devices, and how to verify that the equipment is de-energized.
  1. Device Application and Removal:
  • The program should include hands-on training in the correct application and removal of lockout/tagout devices. This practical component ensures that employees are familiar with the devices and understand how to use them effectively.
  1. Emergency Response Procedures:
  • Effective LOTO training programs also cover procedures for responding to emergencies, such as the unexpected startup of machinery or the release of hazardous energy. Employees should know how to safely respond to these situations to protect themselves and their coworkers.
  1. Role-specific Training:
  • Training should be tailored to the roles of different employees within the organization. Authorized employees who perform the lockout or tagout need detailed procedure training, whereas affected employees who operate in the vicinity of the locked-out equipment need to understand the purpose of LOTO practices and be able to recognize when they are in place.
  1. Compliance with Regulatory Requirements:
  • Lastly, the program must ensure that all training components are in compliance with OSHA standards and any other relevant local, state, or federal regulations. Understanding and adhering to these requirements is essential for legal compliance and the safety of all employees.

Implementing these key components into a LOTO training program helps create a safer working environment by ensuring that employees are well-informed, competent, and capable of effectively controlling hazardous energy in the workplace.

On-Site Safety Training

LOTO training is a part of OSHA’s training requirements for employees operating potentially hazardous machines. These machines contain large energy components and are often either energy sources themselves or directly connected to an energy source. Due to this, these machines can pose potential hazards for those working with them.

If your company is in need of LOTO training, hire professionals. Contact AOTC today. Our experienced staff offers customized Lockout/Tagout training solutions to meet your business needs to avoid injuries and costly fines.


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