Question one

Certain employees should be authorized in a facility. LOTO certified employees have the responsibility and authority of recognizing working conditions that pertain to LOTO. They are also charged with the responsibility of making assessments of energy sources regarded as hazardous using correct materials and procedures in implementing LOTO, as well as maintaining custody on the keys. The reason why these employees should be authorized is because they have been dully tested and proved qualified to apply LOTO. Locking and tagging equipment and machinery to perform maintenance and servicing requires specified expertise. In addition, an authorized employee is the only individual with the mandate of performing lock out and tagout procedures as well as removing or attaching tags and locks. No other employee can perform this responsibility.

Question two

Exceptions to lock out and tag out procedures are inferred when work is done in measures that require a provision for protection on guards, personal equipment, as well as measures that prevent the worker from being exposed to risk or hazard. These exceptions apply to equipment that relates to cord and plug types. In this case, the authorized employee performing the maintenance or servicing has full control over the power and plug cord and he can protect himself from all hazardous energy sources by disconnecting the plug. This exception is facilitated by absolute control where the employee involved is the only person performing the service or maintenance task.

The second exception to lock out and tag out procedures revolves around the minor servicing exception. This exception states that minor tool adjustments and changes together with other maintenance activities that take place in the course of normal operations in production, are not covered by the lock out and tag out procedures if they are repetitive, integral and routine to the use of production equipment. This is provided as long as the maintenance or servicing task is undertaken through alternative measures conscious of effective protection.

Question three

In developing and documenting LOTO procedures, I would have to consider that LOTO procedures that look to prevent injury to workers dealing with natural gas, electricity, and heavy machinery. First I would start by establishing regulations. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides requirements that any business that deals with maintaining and servicing equipment and machinery should have policies and guidelines that control lockout and tag out procedures. It is my understanding that these regulations should be written and measures to educate the employees on the policies should be undertaken. The goal of formulating prescribed policies and regulations is to prevent injury or death. These incidences can occur when an employee is working on particular equipment or machinery that is purposely or inadvertently turned on in the process.

The other consideration I would undertake when developing and documenting LOTO procedures is making policy provisions. I would therefore endeavor in writing LOTO policies that identify the specified and recommended tools and equipment to be used when performing maintenance and repair. This policy should have definitions for all terms and detail all the employees on their specified job positions that apply to the policy. For example, regarding particular machinery, it should provide which lock and tag will be used. The tag should allow for identification of the employee who set the lock. The tag should also specify the lockout’s purpose, either repair or maintenance. In addition the policy provisions should have an outline of the lock out and tag out steps. These outlines will provide guidelines such as which valves and switches the employee should turn, where to place the lock, who the employee should notify before commencing the procedure. If a lock has been used, its location has to be identified.  Finally, the policy should outline the steps that should be undertaken when removing the lock and machine restarting. This procedure should have an assigned qualified supervisor to oversee the entire exercise.

The final part of the lock out and tag out procedure development and documentation should include training measures. Every employee in the procedure should be subjected to adequate LOTO training procedures. The training can involve handing the employees copies of the policy provision. In addition, a hand on demonstration as well as a classroom discussion of the training procedure should be implemented. The place and time of training should be documented together with the outcome.

Question four

When performing the annual evaluation of LOTO program, I would include the following questions. Has the management changed the machinery, equipment, job assignments, or processes? If so, has the management retained the employees, reshuffled them or hired new ones? Do the program’s locks possess any unique identification, keyed uniquely, and only used for LOTO purposes? Does the lock attached to particular equipment or machinery relate to the employee servicing it? Is there any written documentation of machine and equipment specific procedures? Are the employees aware of the location of the LOTO procedures? Does the authorized employee notify the affected employees in the working vicinity before proceeding on with the LOTO procedure? Are the authorized employees able to identify associated hazards of the LOTO procedures as well as all the hazardous energy sources? Do the employees follow the specified guidelines when de-energizing the equipment or machinery? And finally, after the authorized employee finishes the LOTO procedure on the machinery in question, does he inform the concerned parties that he has removed the LOTO devices.


Affected employee: This refers to the employee mandated with the task of using equipment or machinery being serviced under LOTO procedures. It may also mean the employee who is performing other duties around the LOTO area.

Authorized employee: this is the employee who tags or locks the equipment or machinery being serviced. He or she is also charged with the responsibility of inspecting, servicing, maintaining, inspecting etc.

Other employees: Any employee who is in the area where procedures of energy control are being undertaken. This may include building occupants such as students, faculty and contractors.

Energized: Equipment or machinery are said to be energized if they have any connection to an energy source are they contain stored or residual energy.

Energy Control Device: This refers to a mechanical device that is used to prevent the release or transmission of energy. It can include a manual circuit breaker, a line block, or any device that can be used to isolate or block energy.

Lockout: This term refers to the action of placing a lockout device on the device isolating the energy regarding a particular procedure. This ensures that the equipment being serviced and the energy isolated device are not tampered with until the device is removed.

Tag out: This involves the placing the tag out device on the device isolating the energy regarding a specified procedure. This is to indicate the equipment and energy isolating device are not to be tampered with until the LOTO procedure is finished.

Residual Pressure: This refers to energy retained in a machine, system or unit when the supply line has been disconnected. If not properly dissipated, electric fields and power capacitors are good examples of devices that can store residual power.

Energy Source: this refers to any source of mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, thermal, chemical, or any other energy.


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