LOTO Course page 1 | Industrial & Construction Safety Solutions



What is LOTO?

Lockout refers to specific procedures and practices to protect employees from machinery or equipment starting unexpectedly and releasing hazardous energy.

Why is Lock Out Important?

  • To save workers from serious injuries or death, and it’s the law!

It is important because – If not performed, uncontrolled energies could cause:

Cuts, bruises, crushing, amputations, death, resulting from:

  • Entanglement with belts, chains, conveyors, rollers, shafts, impellers
  • Entrapment by bulk materials from bins silos or hoppers
  • Drowning in liquids in vats or tanks
  • Burns (contact with hot parts, materials, or equipment such as furnaces)
  • Fires and explosions
  • Chemical exposures (gases or liquids released from pipelines)

Why Must I Lock Out?

Improper lockout of machines and equipment can result in disfiguring injuries, amputations and death. 

The WSIB Statistical Supplement to the 2014 Annual Report the following information was reported for 2014:

Schedule 1:

  • 1714 LTIs (lost time injury claims) for caught in or compressed by equipment 
  • 344 LTIs for rubbed or abraded by friction, pressure or jarred by vibration 
  • 386 amputations 

Schedule 2:

  • 185 LTIs (lost time injury claims) for caught in or compressed by equipment 
  • 86 LTIs for rubbed or abraded by friction, pressure or jarred by vibration 
  • 17 amputations 

Hazard Summary

  • Anyone who operates, cleans, services, adjusts or repairs machinery or equipment must be aware of the hazards associated with that machinery or equipment. 
  • Every year workers die or are critically injured because the equipment they are working on does not have adequate blocking installed. 
  • In addition to properly locking out control mechanisms, it is critical to block all forms of hazardous energy including: potential energy due to gravity, hydraulic pressure, or any stored energy that may cause equipment to move or drift, such as electrical or mechanical energy. 
  • The lack of blocking allows equipment to move or drop, striking workers, which could lead to fatal and critical injuries.

Energy Types

Electrical Energy – power transmission lines, transformers, circuit breakers

Hydraulic Energy – fluid under pressure (cylinders, lift trucks)

Pneumatic Energy – air under pressure (pipes, tanks, vessels)

Kinetic Energy – caused by motion (moving conveyor, flywheel, moving saw blade)

Potential Energy – stored energy (spring, battery, elevated weight)


Locking Out

Eliminating all sources of energy and installing a personal lock and tag at the source, to prevent the starting of this piece of machinery while it is being cleaned, maintained, adjusted or repaired

Zero Energy State

The machine is incapable of spontaneous or unexpected action, there is no residual energy left in the machine.


Tag Out is the addition of a tag to the lock which indicates the date, time and the name of the worker as well as a warning not to start the machine.

Danger Tags must contain:

  • The name of the person authorizing the lockout.
  • The reason the tag was placed on the lockout.
  • The date the tag out was applied.
  • The signature of the person who applied the tag out.
  • The tag must also state - "DANGER! DO NOT OPERATE

Add a tag out to a lock if the lock has to remain on the disconnect for an extended period of time, such as beyond the end of a shift. In cases where multiple locks are used on a disconnect, a single tag out may be used.


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