What is Lockout/Tagout?

Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is a safety procedure which is used in industry and research settings to ensure that dangerous manchines are properly shut off and not abe to be started up again prior to the completion of maintenance or report work.


The purpose of this written LOCKOUT AND TAGOUT PROGRAM is to ensure that before an employee performs services or maintenance on machinery or equipment, where potential unexpected energizing, startup, or release of any type of energy could occur and cause injury, the machinery or equipment will be rendered safe to work on by being locked out/tagged out (LOTO).

All equipment and machinery energy source(s) (any source of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other energy) shall be LOTO to protect against accidental or inadvertent  peration during any servicing or maintenance activity. Any unauthorized operation or attempt to operate any switch, valve, or other energy isolating device that is LOTO will be disciplined.

Lockout means the placement of a lock on an energy-isolating device of a machine or on equipment in order to prevent the operation of the machine or equipment until the lock is removed. Energy isolating devices can include circuit breakers, switches, valves, and blocks.

Tagout means the placement of a tag which can be securely fastened to an energy-isolating device to indicate that the machinery or equipment may not be operated until the tagout device is removed

Control Hazardous Energy

Exposure to hazardous energy happens from the unexpected energization or start-up of machines, equipment, or systems. This can cause death or serious injury. Hazardous energy is defined as:

  • electrical energy
  • thermal energy,
  • mechanical energy,
  • hydraulic energy,
  • pneumatic energy,
  • chemical energy, and
  • ionizing and non-ionizing radiation energy.

OSHA and Lockout Tagout (LOTO)

in order to prevent serious injuries and potential death, OSHA has specific program requirements for the control of hazardous energy of permanently-wired equipment. Anyone who is servicing or maintaining equipment that is hard-wired should talk to their Laboratory Safety Coordinator and find out what required procedures must be in place and what training is required in order to properly Control Hazardous Energy.

This OSHA standard does not apply to electrically-powered machines that can be completely disconnected by unplugging a cord if the cord is under the exclusive control of the person doing the maintenance or repairs.

UVM Physical Plant department has developed UVM’s best resource for guiding departments through having both a written program and written procedures. A hazard analysis is first required to confirm the presence of hazardous energy. If hazardous energy is confirmed, the appropriate lockout procedure must be documented and used.

To request a training in Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) procedures or other specific training, please contact your supervisor and the Occupational Health and Safety Office at ohso@uvm.edu or call 802.656 SAFE (7233).



Lockout/Tagout Procedure Sheet (Fillable Word Doc.)