There are nine steps involved in the lockout/Tagout procedures. Following these steps will keep accidents from occurring while maintaining or repairing machinery. Keep in mind that any time a worker chooses, he or she may apply additional measures or apply a lock or tag to any or all of the electrical isolating devices.

Let's review the nine steps:

  1. Think, plan and check. Think through the entire procedure and identify all parts of any systems that need to be shutdown.
  2. Communicate. Let other employees working on the equipment know when and why you are shutting down the system.
  3. Locate all power sources. Locate all switches and other electrical sources that need to be locked out.
  4. Neutralize all power at its sources. Lower any suspended parts and block any moveable parts and disconnect the electricity.
  5. Lockout all power sources. Used a lock designed for only this purpose and a lockout tag that includes your name, and the time, the date and department.
  6. Test operating controls. Test the operating controls to make certain the power has been removed.
  7. Turn the controls back off. Be sure to check each and every control is in the "OFF" position before beginning any necessary maintenance or repairs.
  8. Perform any maintenance or repairs.
  9. Remove locks and restore energy.

Tools should be removed from equipment and machine guards put back in place. Notify other workers that the machines are working and back on. Restart equipment only after all workers are at a safe distance.