Expert Picks: The Best Plug Lock for Electrical Lockout Tagout Efficiency

plug lock device with a 220v plug inside

What Is A Plug Lock?

Before diving into the best plug locks, it's essential to understand their fundamental role in industrial safety. A plug lock is an indispensable device for industrial safety, specifically designed for lockout tagout procedures. It's a device that effectively secures electrical plugs, preventing accidental energization or de-energization of machinery and equipment. In essence, plug locks, also called an extension cord lock, serve as a physical barrier, ensuring that electrical plugs cannot be inserted into a power source during maintenance or repair operations.

Their role is critical in upholding workplace safety, dramatically reducing the risk of electrical accidents, and enhancing compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. By integrating a plug lockout device into safety protocols, industries safeguard their employees against electrical hazards, exemplifying a commitment to comprehensive workplace safety.

What Is An Electrical Lockout?

Having established the definition and importance of plug lockout devices we now turn our attention to the broader context in which they operate: the electrical lockout tagout procedure. An electrical lockout tagout procedure is a critical safety protocol, designed to secure electrical systems and prevent unintended energization. This process involves isolating electrical energy sources and applying lockout devices like plug locks to ensure that energy cannot be restored until the completion of maintenance or repair work.

The use of plug locks in electrical lockout is not just a safety measure; it's a compliance necessity. Adhering to these procedures is essential for meeting OSHA standards, which mandate strict guidelines for controlling hazardous energy. Through the implementation of electrical lockout tagout procedures, industries demonstrate a proactive approach to employee safety, mitigating risks associated with electrical systems and reinforcing a culture of safety-first in the workplace.

Key Factors Defining the Best Plug Lock in the Market

Knowing what an extension cord lock is and its role in electrical lockout procedures sets the stage for discerning what distinguishes the best plug locks from the rest. Here are the essential factors that define a top-quality electrical plug lock.

  • Durability and Material Quality: The best plug lock is characterized by its robust construction and use of high-quality materials. It must withstand harsh industrial environments and resist wear and tear to ensure long-term reliability.
  • Ease of Use and Flexibility: Top-tier plug locks offer user-friendly mechanisms and adaptable designs. This allows for quick and efficient lockout of various types and sizes of plugs, ensuring broad applicability across different machinery and equipment.
  • Visibility and Identification: An effective plug lockout is visually distinct and easily identifiable. Bright colors and clear labeling are essential for quick recognition, reducing the likelihood of accidental energization.
  • Tamper-Proof Design: A crucial aspect of a premier plug lock is its tamper-proof nature. It should securely lock in place, preventing unauthorized removal or manipulation, thus ensuring the integrity of the lockout procedure.
  • Compliance with Safety Standards: The best extension cord lock aligns with industry safety standards and OSHA regulations. Compliance with these guidelines is not just about legal adherence but about affirming the commitment to employee safety and operational integrity.

Best Electrical Plug Lock

With a comprehensive understanding of what makes the best plug lock, we now move to the main part: identifying the best plug locks available in the market.

TRADESAFE Plug Lockout Device

The TRADESAFE Plug Lockout Device is a testament to superior safety and functionality in electrical lockout tagout. Crafted from rugged and tamper-resistant polypropylene, this plug lock offers an extraordinary level of resistance to wear and tear while also reducing electrical hazards with its nonconductive feature. Its large size that can lock out up to two plugs at the same time showcases its versatility.

Moreover, being able to accommodate up to four LOTO locks sets it apart as a highly efficient tool for group lockout tagout procedures. The integrated Danger warning label enhances safety awareness in the workplace while its vibrant red color not only ensures prominent visibility but also signifies the seriousness of the lockout situation.

Material: Polypropylene Color: Red Plug Compatibility: 110 to 220V plugs

Key Features:

  • Capability to secure two plugs simultaneously
  • Unmatched durability and tamper-resistance
  • Meticulously designed for superior versatility, visibility, and convenience of use
  • Precision engineered to exceed OSHA standards for Lockout Tagout devices

Master Lock Rotating Electrical Plug Lockout

The Master Lock Rotating Electrical Plug Lockout features both outward and inward rotation for ease of use and storage. This design allows the plug lock to surround electrical plugs and effectively prevent accidental reconnection. Its thermoplastic construction ensures reliable performance in most industrial environments.

Material: Thermoplastic Color: Red Plug Compatibility: 110 to 220V plugs

Key Features:

  • Outward/inward rotation for easy use
  • Resilience under industrial conditions
  • Includes safety labels in multiple languages

Brady 3-In-1 Plug Lockout

Brady's 3-In-1 Plug Lockout accommodates a range of plug sizes with its two rotating top lids. While its adaptability is a strong point, it's worth noting that the installation can be less straightforward compared to other designs that only require one lid to cover the plug. The yellow body enhances its visibility while the polypropylene material ensures durability in industrial settings.

Material: Polypropylene Color: Yellow Plug Compatibility: 125/250/600 V plugs

Key Features:

  • Dual rotating lids for different cord sizes
  • High visibility yellow color
  • Integrated safety labels in English & Spanish

Plug Lock Buying Considerations

Here are the key considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a plug lock, ensuring that your investment aligns with both safety requirements and operational needs:

  • Compatibility with Electrical Plugs: When purchasing an extension cord lock, it's vital to ensure that it is compatible with the types and sizes of plugs commonly used in your facility. This ensures a seamless fit and effective lockout.
  • Adjustability and Versatility: Look for plug locks that offer adjustability and versatility. This feature allows for a single device to be used across various applications, making it a cost-effective and practical solution.
  • Quality of Construction: The construction quality of a plug lock directly impacts its durability and reliability. Opt for locks made from robust materials capable of enduring the rigors of industrial use.
  • Ease of Installation and Removal: Select plug locks that are straightforward to install and remove. This facilitates quick application and removal, enhancing efficiency during maintenance procedures.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that the electrical plug lock meets or exceeds OSHA standards and other relevant safety regulations. Compliance is not just a legal requirement but a testament to the lock's quality and reliability.

Frequently Asked Questions on Plug Locks

What is electrical plug lockout?

Electrical plug lockout is a safety procedure where a device is used to securely cover and lock an electrical plug, preventing it from being connected to a power source, thus ensuring the safety of workers during maintenance or repair work.

How do you lock an extension cord together?

To lock an extension cord together, use a plug lock or a specifically designed extension cord lock, which encases the connected plugs and can be secured with a padlock or built-in locking mechanism to prevent disconnection.

How do I keep my extension cord from being stolen?

To prevent your extension cord from being stolen, use a cable lock to secure it to a fixed object or invest in a lockable storage box where the cord can be safely stored when not in use.

Can you lockout an electrical cord?

Yes, you can lockout an electrical cord by using a cord lockout device, which encases the cord and plug, and is secured with a padlock, ensuring that the cord cannot be used until the lockout is removed.

The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional/legal advice or substitute government regulations, industry standards, or other requirements specific to any business/activity. While we made sure to provide accurate and reliable information, we make no representation that the details or sources are up-to-date, complete or remain available. Readers should consult with an industrial safety expert, qualified professional, or attorney for any specific concerns and questions.


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Author: Herbert Post

Born in the Philadelphia area and raised in Houston by a family who was predominately employed in heavy manufacturing. Herb took a liking to factory processes and later safety compliance where he has spent the last 13 years facilitating best practices and teaching updated regulations. He is married with two children and a St Bernard named Jose. Herb is a self-described compliance geek. When he isn’t studying safety reports and regulatory interpretations he enjoys racquetball and watching his favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys.