LOTO stands for lockout/tagout. When done properly before equipment service or maintenance, lockout/tagout procedures control hazardous energy and protect workers from harm.
Without the use of proper LOTO safety procedures, the serviced equipment can unexpectedly start up or otherwise release these forms of energy. This can lead to injuries and even death to the people working on the machine and even to others working in the area or living in the community.
Energy sources including electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, or other sources in machines and equipment can be hazardous to workers. During the servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment, the unexpected startup or release of stored energy can result in serious injury or death to workers.
A lockout/tagout procedure should include the following six steps:
The authorized employee must investigate and gain a complete understanding of all types of hazardous energy that might be controlled.
It’s time to shut down the machine or equipment that will be serviced or maintained.
To isolate the machine or equipment from any source of energy.
The authorized employee will attach lockout and/or tagout devices to each energy-isolating device.
5. Stored energy check
It’s important to look for any hazardous energy that’s been “stored” within the machine, or any “residual” energy.
6. Isolation verification
An authorized employee verifies the machine has been properly isolated and de-energized.