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Lock Out Tag Out Procedure Checklist

Consistently comply with regulations and effectively promote safety in the workplace using LOTO procedure checklists

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What is Lock Out Tag Out Procedure?

Lock out tag out (LOTO) procedure are the steps taken in the workplace by different industries to help keep machines and equipment from unintentionally energization while being maintained or repaired by workers. While lock out tag out procedure is required by industry standards and regulations, non-compliance with LOTO procedure is one of the most cited OSHA standards violations.

Following LOTO standards by using a procedures template and safety checklist can help ensure that all dangerous machinery and equipment are properly shut off, locked out and tagged before performing maintenance checks. OSHA estimates that complying with LOTO standards helps prevent 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year.

What is a Lock Out Tag Out Procedure Checklist?

A lock out tag out procedure checklist is a tool used by safety officers and managers to ensure that steps are taken to isolate energy sources when servicing industrial equipment or heavy machinery to protect workers against hazards such as accidental energization of the equipment or exposure to hazardous energy. Millions of machine operators and workers are exposed to risks each day due to unisolated energy sources and lock out tag out procedure checklists aim to protect workers from those risks.

This article briefly discusses:

  • What are the steps in lock out tag out procedure;
  • the contents of a lock out tag out procedure checklist;
  • a powerful tool to help ensure that organizations consistently conduct lock out tag out procedure; and
  • free fire extinguisher inspection checklists you can download for free and use for your inspections.

What are the Steps in Lock Out Tag Out Procedure?

Machines and equipment are different in multiple industries and having to maintain or repair them, however, could be potentially dangerous if not done properly and without following the recommended lock out tag out procedures. Here are 5 steps that safety officers and assigned employees can follow to help ensure that LOTO is done properly.

Step 1: Prepare a lock out tag out procedure checklist

  • To prepare a lock out tag out procedure checklist, a risk assessment is ideally conducted to be aware of the risks with operating and being around the machine or equipment.
  • Determine specific steps for identifying and isolating energy sources of the machine and other mitigation to contain risks.

Step 2: Inform all affected workers

  • Employees should be made aware if a machine or equipment is about to be serviced and that lock out tag out is being conducted.
  • Be very specific with the lock out tag out steps such as shutting down the equipment of affected employees.

Step 3: Proceed with the shut down of the machine or equipment

  • Primary and possible secondary sources of energy should be identified and de-energized.
  • Isolate all energy sources and ensure there is no danger of harming the employees.

Step 4: Lock out and tag out

  • Lock out and tag out the machine or equipment, ensure that shut off is verified, and make sure that employees are aware that it is out of service at the moment.

Step 5: Turn the machine or equipment back on

  • Ensure that there are no tools or unintended items left during the maintenance of the machine.
  • Remove all the LOTO items and follow the steps to turn the machine back online.
  • Inform all the affected employees that the machine or equipment is back in operation.

The steps above ideally should be conducted with the use of a lock out tag out procedure checklist to help ensure that all steps are followed and nothing is overlooked to maintain the safety in the workplace.

Contents of a Lock Out Tag Out Procedure Checklist

Lock out tag out procedures can vary based on the industry or type of machine or equipment. Here are the main sections of a LOTO procedure checklist:

Machine/equipment information

  • Identify the machine or equipment that will be shut down and record the purpose of the LOTO such as maintenance or repair.
  • Identify the energy sources that could cause harm if not isolated such as electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, etc.

Area inspection

  • Check if the area surrounding the equipment has no items that could pose a risk to the workers during the equipment maintenance.
  • Employees who are not going to work on the maintenance should also clear the area


  • Employees are made aware of their responsibilities during the LOTO and maintenance of the machine.

Lock out tag out devices

  • Ensure that the proper LOTO devices are available for the job
  • The responsible persons who will apply the devices should be identified

Applying LOTO devices

  • Ensure that all sources of power are isolated before the proper LOTO devices are applied to each energy isolating device

Removing LOTO devices

  • Clear all the tools and place back machine guarding
  • LOTO devices to be removed by the person who applied them
  • Restore energy to the machine or equipment

Powerful Tool for Lock Out Tag Out

OSHA finds that lock out tag out procedure compliance is a challenge in the workplace. iAuditor by SafetyCulture can help organizations better implement safety and compliance in the workplace by providing the tools that safety officers and employees can use to follow LOTO procedures. With iAuditor, you are empowered to:

  • Use LOTO checklists conveniently on mobile devices
  • Take photos of hazards and record action taken to mitigate them during LOTO
  • Automatically submit reports on steps taken so far
  • Secure recordkeeping using cloud storage
  • Download, edit, and share iAuditor lock out tag out procedure templates for free


Sare Hawes

SafetyCulture staff writer