Lockout/Tagout and Electrical Safety


rev 2/2007

Table of Contents

Personal Protective Equipment 
Lockout/Tagout Devices
Lockout/Tagout Procedure
    Facilities Management Emergency Procedure
    Dining Services Emergency Procedure
Testing Procedures
Equipment Specific Procedures
Procedure Involving More Than One Authorized Employee
New or Modified Equipment

Outside Contractors
Periodic Inspection


A: Addendum for Dining Services
B: Table 130.7(C)(10)
C: Table 130.2(C)
D: Table 130.3(A)

29 CFR Part 1910.147 and
29 CFR 1910.331 through .335, and NFPA 70E


This procedure establishes the minimum requirements for the lockout or tagout of energy isolating devices.  It shall be used to ensure that equipment or machines are isolated from all potentially hazardous energy, and locked out or tagged out before employees do any servicing or maintenance activities where the unexpected energization, start-up, or release of stored energy could cause injury.


There are several situations in which the OSHA Lockout/Tagout Standard and the Mount Holyoke College Lockout/Tagout Program do not apply.  All employees working on a service or maintenance project must agree that an exception condition exists before deciding not to use the Lockout/Tagout procedure.  The specific exceptions are:

  • Service or maintenance when employees are not exposed to the unexpected release of hazardous energy.
  • Normal production operations including lubrication, cleaning, unjamming, adjustments, or tool changes provided that these operations do not require the removal of a safeguard or the exposure of an employee to any hazardous energy.
  • Work on plug and cord connected electrical equipment if the plug is under the exclusive control of the employee performing the service or maintenance.  Exclusive control means in the physical possession of the employee, or in arm's reach and in line of sight of the employee, or if the employee has affixed a lockout/tagout device on the plug.


It is the responsibility of all employees to observe the requirements of this procedure.  The following specific designations will be used for the procedure.

Authorized Employees: Authorized employees are those employees who are responsible for servicing or maintenance of energized equipment.  The following are authorized to apply locks or tags according to the following procedures.

For Electrical Systems:
Facilities Management (FM) Electricians

For Cabinet Shop Woodworking Equipment:
Carpenters (FM Electricians if needed)

For HVAC Equipment:
HVAC Department electrician, mechanics, and operators (FM Electricians if needed)

For Steam System:
Central Heating Plant personnel are responsible for the boilers and distribution system up to the first stop valve.  Plumbers and steamfitters are responsible for the low-pressure steam system.

For Water System:
Plumbers and steamfitters are responsible for pressurized water systems.

For Gas System:
Licensed gas plumbers are responsible for gas systems.

For Dining Services Equipment:
Dining Services: Maintenance Technician, Section Managers, Director, Associate Director, Assistant Director for Cash Operations, Assistant Director - Purchasing, and Blanchard Campus Center Manager; Willits-Hallowell: Director, Executive Chef, and Assist. Exec. Chef.

Affected Employees: Affected employees are employees whose job requires him/her to work on machines or equipment on which servicing is being done under lockout or tagout procedures or who are working in an area in which such procedures are being performed.

Other Employees: All other Mount Holyoke College employees.


At the time of adoption of this procedure all authorized employees were given a training session and a copy of the written procedure.  The session is repeated if the need is determined by the annual inspection.  New or transferred employees are trained by their supervisor. Facilities Management supervisors of affected employees also attend the training session.  Affected and other employees will be informed of the purpose and use of the Lockout/Tagout procedure by use of a workplace poster.  The training session will cover the following topics:

  • The OSHA Standard
  • The NFPA 70 E Standard
  • Definitions used by the Standard
  • The Mount Holyoke College Lockout/Tagout Program
  • Recognition of hazardous energy
  • Type and magnitude of energy found in the workplace
  • The means and methods of isolating or controlling energy
  • The means of verifying effective energy control
  • The limitations of tags

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Protective clothing and equipment that protects workers from shock and flash hazards will be used when electrical hazards are present. PPE will comply with and be selected according to Table 130.7(C)(10) "Protective Clothing and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Matrix" of the NFPA 70E Standard.

Note: Poly-blend clothing is not permitted to be worn for outer or inner layers. Watches, rings, and other potentially conductive jewelry and apparel, (i.e. metal buttons), must be removed.

The Electrical Foreman/Qualified Person must be able to identify potential hazards, (i.e. arc blast, arc flash, shock, etc.), and determine the proper level of PPE.

Lockout/Tagout Devices

Each authorized employee is issued a standardized lock(s) with an individual key. These locks are only used for this lockout procedure. Additional locks, again issued to a specific authorized employee are available from the Facilities Management stockroom. Each lock must have a securely fastened tag with the employees name and the date of application to a piece of equipment clearly written on the tag.

Standardized tags for use in tagging out equipment are available from the Facilities Management stockroom. Durable reusable plastic tags are used. The tag has the word "Danger" on a red field and the words "Do Not Operate". The tag is attached with a single use, self-locking nylon cable tie. The authorized employees name and the date of application to a piece or equipment are written on the tag.

Locks must be used whenever possible, as tags are essentially a warning device and do not provide the physical restraint that is provided by a lock. If a tag must be used the following conditions apply:

  • A tag is to be removed only by the authorized employee responsible for it, and it is never to be bypassed, ignored, or otherwise defeated.
  • Tags must be legible and understandable by all employees in order to be effective.
  • Tags and their means of attachment must be able to withstand environmental conditions.
  • Tags may evoke a false sense of security and should be understood as part of an overall energy control program.
  • Tags must be securely attached so they cannot be inadvertently or accidentally detached during use.

For electrical systems use of a tag must be supplemented by "at least one additional safety measure that provides a level of safety equivalent to that obtained by the use of a lock".  Examples given in the regulation are the removal of an isolating circuit element, blocking of a controlling switch, or opening of an extra disconnecting device.

Lockout/Tagout Procedure

The following is the general procedure used for all lockout/tagout applications. A more specific procedure for Dining Services, describing the responsibilities of certain groups of authorized employees and protection assurance during shift changes is included in Appendix-A.

             Prior to Applying Lock or Tag

  1. Make a survey to locate and identify all isolating devices to be certain which switch(es), breaker(s), valve(s), or other energy isolating devices apply to the equipment.
  2. Notify all affected employees that the energized system will be shut down and if possible estimate for how long.
  3. The authorized employee should know the type and magnitude of energy that the machine or equipment utilizes and should understand the hazards thereof and safe procedures for de-energizing the equipment.
  4. Operate the switch(es), breaker(s), valve(s), or other energy isolating device(s) so that the equipment is isolated from its energy source(s).
  5. Stored electrical energy, which might endanger personnel, must be release (e.g. capacitors discharged, high capacitance elements short circuited and grounded).
  6. Stored non-electrical energy such as springs, hydraulic systems, overhead doors, etc. must be restrained by methods such as repositioning or blocking.  Air, steam, gas, or water pressure must be dissipated by bleeding down or other method.

    Applying Lock or Tag

  7. Lockout All Energy Isolating Devices That Will Accept A Lock.  Use A Tag Only If A Lock Cannot Be Used.
    For electrical systems the tag must be supplemented by " at least one additional safety measure that provides a level of safety equivalent to that obtained by the use of a lock."  Examples given in the regulation are the removal of an isolating circuit element, blocking of a controlling switch, or opening of an extra disconnecting device.

    The authorized employee must write his/her name and the date of application to the piece of equipment on the lock or tag.

    The Authorized Employee Who Attached The Tag Is The Only Person That Can Remove That Tag (except in the emergency procedure described below).

    After Applying Lock or Tag

  8. Before any work is begun, the disconnected system should be tested in some way to confirm that the equipment will not operate.  The test should verify that the energy-isolating device is controlling the source of hazardous energy and that other sources of hazardous energy are not present.  If there is a possibility of reaccumulation of stored energy to a hazardous level, continued monitoring should be conducted. For electrical systems only a qualified person (that is a licensed electrician) can perform the test.  The test must verify that the circuit elements and equipment parts are de-energized.
  9. Perform equipment service and/or maintenance. When electrical hazards are present, personnel must wear the proper PPE, including safety glasses and/or face shields or hoods, FR-rated (fire rated) clothing, and V-rated (voltage rated) gloves that are rated for higher than the system being worked on. The Qualified Person must determine the need for PPE and establish the required level to be worn when making the survey prior to applying the lock or tag. Tools must be insulated and rated for the voltages on which they will be used. The Qualified Person is responsible for selecting the proper tools for the task and must inspect all tools prior to use to ensure that they are in good condition.
  10. After the servicing or maintenance is complete and equipment is ready for normal operation remove all tools from the machine or equipment, reinstall guards, and check to see that other employees are in the clear.
  11. Inform affected employees that the lockout/tagout device is about to be removed.

    Removing the Lock or Tag

  12. Remove the lock or tag and operate the energy isolating device and restore the equipment to service.

Facilities Management Emergency Procedure:
This procedure is to be used only in emergency situations.  A lock or tag can be removed by someone other than the authorized employee only when all of the following conditions exist.

  • The foreman, Assistant Director of Operations, or Director of Facilities Management has verified that the authorized employee who applied the device is not at the facility.
  • The foreman, Assistant Director of Operations, or Director of Facilities Management has verified that no hazard will be created by operating the energy disconnect device, that all tools have been removed from the vicinity, that all guards or safety devices are in place, and that all affected employees are informed before the disconnect device is operated.
  • The foreman, Assistant Director of Operations, or Director of Facilities Management has made reasonable efforts to contact the authorized employee to inform him/her that his/her lockout or tagout device has been removed.
  • The foreman, Assistant Director of Operations, or Director of Facilities Management has ensured that the authorized employee has this knowledge before resuming work.

Approval to use bolt cutters to remove a lock or a tag during an emergency must be obtained from the Director of Facilities Management or, in his absence, from any one of the following: Assistant Director of Operations or Superintendent of General Services.

Dining Services Emergency Procedure:
Locks and tags are under normal conditions removed by the Section Managers. The only persons other than the Section Managers authorized to remove locks or tags are: the Director, Associate Director, Assistant Director for Cash Operations, and Warehouse Manager. If someone other than a Section Manager, or if the Section Manager removing the lock or tag is not the Section Manager that applied the lock or tag, these additional measures must be taken.

  1. The second key for that lock is obtained and signed out from the locked file cabinet in the Dining Services Office. That key should be returned to the office during that shift.
  2. The Section Manager that applied the lock or tag must be given written or oral notice that their lock or tag has been removed.

Testing Procedures

A qualified person must use a meter to test the circuit elements and electrical parts of equipment to which personnel will be exposed to verify that it is de-energized prior to starting work. The qualified person must also use the test meter on a known source, to verify that it is operating properly. PPE is required while testing the equipment.


Working on energized systems should be a last resort. In the event that it is not feasible to work de-energized, the Limited Approach, Restricted Approach, and Prohibited Approach shock protection boundaries established by Table 130.2(C) of the NFPA 70E standard must be strictly adhered to. Also, Flash Protection Boundaries must be calculated in compliance with Article 130.3(A) of the NFPA 70E standard.

Equipment Specific Procedures

A written procedure detailing the required procedure for each piece of equipment that requires lockout or tagout is developed by the Department responsible for the equipment. This procedure will be posted on or near the piece of equipment.

A written procedure is not needed if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The equipment has no potential for stored or residual energy after shutdown that could endanger employees.
  2. The equipment has a single energy source that can be readily identified and isolated.
  3. The isolation and locking out of that energy source will completely de-energize and deactivate the equipment.
  4. The equipment is isolated form the energy source and locked out during servicing or maintenance.
  5. A single lockout device can achieve a locked-out condition.
  6. The lockout device is under the exclusive control of the authorized employee performing the servicing or maintenance.
  7. The servicing or maintenance does not cause hazards for other employees.
  8. There have been no accidents involving the unexpected activation or reenergization of the equipment during servicing or maintenance.

Procedure Involving More Than One Authorized Employee

In the Lockout/Tagout Procedure, if more than one individual is required to lock out equipment, each shall place his or 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, a hasp or lockbox may be used. Each person will remove his/her lock from the isolating device.

One authorized employee will be appointed to oversee the group lockout or tagout device. All employees participating in a group lockout/tagout procedure should be made aware of the type and magnitude of the hazardous energy.


Failure to observe any portion of the College Lockout/Tagout Program will be viewed as a serious safety violation and may be subject to disciplinary action. Failure to make use of locks or tags, bypassing, ignoring or otherwise defeating a tag, or any other deviation from the established program will be considered a serious violation. The backside of each tag will bear the warnings "Do Not Remove This Tag" and "Necessary Disciplinary Action Will Be Taken If These Orders Are Disregarded".

New or Modified Equipment

After October 31, 1989, whenever major replacement, repair, renovation or modification of machines or equipment is performed, and whenever new machines or equipment are installed, energy isolating devices for such machines or equipment shall be designed to accept a lockout device.

Outside Contractors

Whenever a Mount Holyoke College employee is servicing a machine or equipment that have been isolated by an outside contractor that college employee or his/her foreman should obtain information about the contractor's lockout/tagout procedure. Conversely, whenever a contractor is servicing machines or equipment that have been isolated by  Mount Holyoke College employee, the college employee should provide information on the college's lockout/tagout procedure.

Periodic Inspection

This procedure will be inspected annually by the Director of Facilities Management or his/her designee. The inspection shall be designed to correct any deviations or inadequacies involved. All authorized employees will be asked to review the effectiveness of the procedure. The inspection will also ascertain the awareness of the limitations of tags as covered in the training programs.


A: Addendum

B: Table 130.7(C)(10)

C: Table 130.2(C)

D: Table 130.3(A)