Policy Steward: Director of Environmental Health and Safety


  • Purpose
  • Applicability
  • Reference
  • Definitions
  • Policy
  • Responsibilities
  • Operations and Usage
  • Training
  • Recordkeeping
  • Inspections
  • Further Information
  • Cross References


    The purpose of this policy is to outline procedures for protecting employees during the servicing of equipment by preventing unexpected energization.


    This program applies to employees and students at all locations of the Pennsylvania State University, except for the Hershey Medical Center and College of Medicine.


    This program has been developed in accordance with the provisions of OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.147, “Control of Hazardous Energy."


    •  Affected employee: An employee who is responsible for the operation of equipment on which servicing is being completed under LOTO conditions.

    •  Authorized employee: An employee approved to lock and tag out equipment in order to complete servicing on that equipment.

    •  Capable of being locked out: An energy isolation device is capable of being locked out if (1) it is designed with a hasp or other means of attachment to which a lock can be affixed; or (2) it has a locking mechanism built into it.

    •  Energized: Connected to an energy source or containing residual or stored energy.

    •  Energy isolation device: A mechanical device that physically prevents transmission of energy. Examples of energy isolation devices would include manually operated circuit breakers, electrical disconnect switches, line valves, and similar devices used to block or isolate energy. (Note:   Push buttons, selector switches, and other control-circuit devices are not energy isolation devices).

    •  Energy source: Any source of electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other energy.

    •  Lockout: The placement of a lockout device on an energy isolating device which ensures that the energy isolation device and the equipment being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed.

    •  Lockout device: A device that utilizes a lock and key to hold an energy isolation device in the “SAFE” or “OFF” position and prevents machinery or equipment from becoming energized.

    •  LOTO: An acronym for “Lockout/Tagout”.

    •  Other employee: An employee who is not directly responsible for the operation of equipment which is being serviced under LOTO conditions, but who is present in the immediate area of the servicing.

    •  Servicing or service work: Workplace activities such as constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, modifying, and maintaining machines or equipment.

    •  Tagout: The placement of a tagout device on an energy isolation device to indicate that the energy isolation 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 attached to equipment for the purpose of alerting personnel not to operate an energy isolation device. Tagout devices are used to identify the authorized employee responsible for the servicing and the date of application.


    It is the policy of Penn State University that all individuals who may service, maintain, or modify equipment follow appropriate procedures and be trained in accordance with this policy and the Lockout/Tagout Program specified at http://ehs.psu.edu/lockout-tagout/requirements-guidelines.


    Budget Executives and Budget Administrators

    Environmental Health & Safety Office

    Safety Officers




    1. Locks shall meet standards specified by EHS.

    2. Tags shall meet standards specified by EHS and must legibly indicate the user name and date of application.

    3. The following steps will be taken when locking/tagging out equipment at PSU:

      •  Identify All Energy Sources: All electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, and other energy sources feeding the equipment must be identified.

      •  Notify Others: The authorized employee completing the servicing must verbally notify all “affected” and “other” employees of the impending equipment shutdown.

      •  Shutdown Equipment: If the equipment is running, it must be shutdown using the normal stopping procedures. 

      • Isolate Equipment from Energy Sources: Once the equipment has been shut down, all energy isolation devices must be operated so that the equipment is disconnected from its energy sources.

      •  Lockout/Tagout the Equipment: Locks and lockout devices must be attached to each energy isolation device in order to prevent the transmission of energy. A tag indicating the lock holder and the date of application must accompany each lock.

      •  Release or Block Stored Energy: After the equipment has been isolated and locked/tagged out, all stored energy must be safely controlled.

      •  Verify Isolation of Equipment: Prior to beginning any service work, the authorized employee must attempt to restart the equipment using the normal starting procedure or otherwise ensure the effectiveness of the lockout.

      •  Perform Required Servicing: During the completion of service work, employees must avoid doing anything that could potentially reactivate the equipment.

      •  Release from Lockout/Tagout: All locks, lockout devices, and tags must be removed by the same person who applied each item.

    4. Equipment specific lockout/tagout procedures shall be established.


    “Authorized employees” will be trained in the purpose and use of LOTO procedures, the recognition of hazardous energy sources, the types and magnitude of hazardous energy sources expected to be encountered, and the methods that are necessary for proper energy isolation and control.

    “Affected employees” and “other employees” will be trained in the purpose of LOTO procedures. They will also be shown samples of the locks and tags used during LOTO procedures. They will be instructed not to remove locks or tags for any reason nor to attempt to energize equipment that is being serviced.

    Retraining will be provided to employees whenever there is a change in job assignments, processes, or equipment that creates a new hazard. Retraining will also be provided whenever there is a change in LOTO procedures.


    Each work unit is responsible for maintaining the following records in order to meet the requirements of this program:

    •  Records of all LOTO training provided to employees within the work unit.

    •  A list of all authorized employees within the work unit.

    •  Copies of all equipment-specific LOTO procedures developed within the work unit.

    •  Copies of all Lock Removal Forms completed within the work unit.

    •  Copies of all LOTO Contractor Notification Forms completed within the work unit.

    •  Copies of all LOTO Inspection Checklists completed within the work unit.

    EHS is responsible for maintaining the following records in order to meet the requirements of this program:

    •  Records of all LOTO training provided by EHS.

    •  Records of any evaluations completed in order to assess the effectiveness of this program.


    Supervisors of authorized employees are responsible for completing periodic inspections on at least an annual basis in order to ensure adherence to the LOTO procedures described in this document. LOTO inspections will be completed using a checklist developed by EHS.


    For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact the Office of the Director of Environmental Health and Safety.


    Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

    SY01 - Environmental Health and Safety Policy

    SY04 - Employee Accidents - Reporting and Investigation

    Effective Date: November 18, 2016
    Approval Date: November 2, 2016
    Date Published: November 18, 2016 (Editorial changes- November 18, 2016)

    Most Recent Changes:

    Revision History (and effective dates):

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