Using its knowledge and expertise, Master Lock recommends a 7-step process to effectively lockout equipment.
Authorized employees must follow these steps in the correct order:
1. PREPARE FOR SHUTDOWN
Before the authorized or affected employee turns off the machine, the authorized employee must know the type and magnitude of the energy and its hazards. Also, the authorized employee must know how to control the energy.
Before lockout/tagout devices can be applied, either the employer or the authorized employee must notify the affected employees.
The machine or equipment must be turned off following orderly, established procedures. Shutting down the machine must not create any increased hazards from equipment stoppage.
4. ISOLATE EQUIPMENT
The authorized employee who is performing the servicing or maintenance work is to isolate the machine or equipment from its energy sources. The energy isolating devices (disconnect switches, circuit breakers, valves, etc.) must be physically located and operated by the authorized employee.
5. APPLY LOCKOUT/TAGOUT DEVICES
The authorized employee is to apply lockout/tagout devices to each energy isolating device. Lockout devices must hold the switches, valves, etc. in the "safe" or "off" position. There should be as many locks on the device as there are people working on the machine. Each lock should only have one key.
6. RELEASE STORE ENERGY
Any potentially hazardous stored or residual energy from all sources and components must be released, relieved, disconnected, or restrained by:
• Bleeding off pressure
• Blocking elevated parts in place
• Draining lines
• Letting equipment cool
• Discharging capacitors
• Other methods specified in the lockout/tagout procedures
The authorized employee operates the machine's controls to verify that the equipment is isolated (and then return the controls to their "off" positions). The verification process could also include reading pressure or temperature gauges and using test equipment.
At this point, the authorized employee can safely start the repair or maintenance work.