The 8 Steps

8 Steps for Lockout

Legislation requires that the control of hazardous energy should be done according to a well-defined step by step procedure.

1. Preparation for Shutdown

Before any equipment is shut down the following must be considered:

  • NOTIFICATION has been done of all parties involved with equipment and processes
  • The TYPE and AMOUNT of energy that powers it or is created by it
  • The HAZARDS created by that energy
  • HOW the energy can be CONTROLLED

2. Equipment Shutdown

Shut the system down by using the operating controls. Follow whatever procedure is applicable for the equipment so that you don’t endanger anyone else during shutdown. 

3. Equipment Isolation

The isolation point(s) are clearly identified in procedures, labelled and then:

  • Install energy isolation devices to block the equipment from the energy source
  • Be sure to isolate ALL energy sources AND secondary power supplies
  • Never just remove a fuse instead isolating the energy or power

4. Application of Lockout Devices

All energy isolation devices are locked and tagged according to your company safe working procedures:

  • Only standardised devices supplied by your employer should be used for lockout/tagout and they should not be used for anything else
  • Use a lockout device if your padlock cannot be placed directly on the energy control
  • Some valves may need locking open
  • For large jobs, a lockout box can be used to maintain control over a large number of padlocks and keys
  • If tags are used together with a padlock, ensure they are securely fastened to the padlock
  • Fill tags out completely and correctly

5. Control Zero Energy State

Take any of the following steps necessary to guard against energy left in the equipment after it has been isolated from its energy sources.

  • Inspect the system to make sure all parts have stopped moving
  • Release the tension on springs, or block the movement of spring driven parts. Block or brace parts that could fall because of gravity
  • Block parts in hydraulic and pneumatic systems that could move from loss of pressure
  • Drain process piping systems and close valves to prevent the flow of hazardous materials. Bleed the lines and leave vent valves open
  • If a line must be blocked where there is no valve, use a blank flange
  • Relieve trapped pressure. Purge reactor tanks and process lines

6. Equipment Isolation Verification

Take any of the following steps that fit your company’s equipment and energy control programme:

  • Make sure all danger areas are cleared of personnel
  • Verify that the main disconnect switch or circuit breaker cannot be moved to the ‘on’ position
  • Use a voltmeter or other equipment to check the switch
  • Try out – attempt to start equipment
  • Shut off all machine controls when the testing is finished

 7. Performing the Work

  • Look ahead and avoid doing anything that could re-activate the equipment
  • Don’t bypass the lockout when putting in new piping or wiring

 8. Reactivate

  • Responsible person removes final lock
  • Energize equipment as per company procedure