3 Types of Employees To Train for Lockout Tagout (LOTO)

August 06, 2021 5 min read

Employees handling machinery maintenance and servicing must receive lockout tagout training. This is to protect them from injuries that can happen due to an equipment’s unexpected startup or stored energy release. The lockout tagout standard of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that organizations and facilities adopt and implement the following procedures with regards to equipment:

  • Shutting it down
  • Isolating it from its energy source
  • Preventing the release of hazardous energy while performing maintenance and servicing

You can refer to OSHA’s standard for minimum requirements and comprehensive criteria to help you establish a lockout tagout (LOTO) specific to your requirements.

Who Needs LOTO training?

All employees shall be instructed about the requirements and procedures of the LOTO program regardless of their position or assignment.

Authorized Employee

A lockout tagout authorized employee has been given the responsibility, training, and authority to implement LOTO procedures on particular equipment. He or she must be certified by his or her supervisor on each piece of equipment to demonstrate his or her thorough understanding of the LOTO procedures. His or her responsibilities include:

  1. Completing all the training required to become authorized to perform LOTO on a specific machine, tool, or equipment
  2. Performing LOTO that conforms to the company’s program
  3. Retaining control of the machine or equipment while servicing it and LOTO is in progress
  4. Working only under his or her own lock and tag
  5. Maintaining LOTO devices in good and working conditions

Affected Employee

A lockout tagout affected employee is someone who works with a machine covered by the LOTO standard. He or she is at risk of being harmed by a machine with LOTO.

Although affected employees are not authorized to apply or remove LOTO devices, they must understand the procedures so that they can monitor whether there are violations when it comes to applying the LOTO procedure.

Other Employee

He or she is someone who is working in an area where a particular LOTO procedure is used. Like affected employees, other employees cannot put or remove LOTO devices.

Employee Training

All affected, authorized, and other employees must be trained as required by 1910.332 and 1919.147(c). Other OSHA LOTO training requirements must be customized to a workplace’s needs.

Authorized Employees

The employer must either develop and provide LOTO training or outsource this from independent LOTO training providers. Either way, the following must be considered:

  1. The applicable hazardous sources of energy
  2. Magnitude and type of energy in the workplace
  3. Means and methods for energy control and isolation
  4. Removal of devices that control energy

When it comes to LOTO, the supervisors of the authorized employees must ensure that the employees are certified and that training has taken place. A supervisor’s responsibilities include:

  • Creating equipment-specific LOTO procedures
  • Maintaining a list of authorized workers
  • Provide LOTO guidelines if requested

They must also provide the equipment that the authorized employees need for the equipment-specific LOTO training. The authorized employee will be presented with equipment-specific written procedures to verify their understanding of the procedure so that they perform it accordingly.

Outside Personnel

If outside contractors are hired to repair equipment where LOTO is required, the authorized employee will be the one to inform them of the energy control procedures for a particular machine. If needed, he or she will assist the contractors in locking out the machine or equipment.

Group Lockout

If a group of employees is tasked to repair a machine, each employee will put his or her personal tag or lock on the group lockout device as soon as he or she begins to work. He or she will remove this device once the work on the machine has been completed.

On the other hand, if there is more than one authorized employee required to lock or tag out a machine, there should be a primary authorized employee to:

  1. Coordinate and implement the LOTO of sources of energy and the particular machine to be serviced
  2. Coordinate with the machine operators pre- and post-servicing on tasks that need LOTO
  3. Lead a group of servicing or maintenance employees
  4. Maintain accountability of each authorized employee under his or her group

Affected and Other Employees

They are given LOTO training so that they are aware of the restrictions and can identify locks and tags. Here, they will be instructed never to reenergize or restart a locked-out or tagged-out machine. They will also be retrained if there is a change in OSHA regulation or their employer’s guidelines. This retraining can be done through awareness campaigns.


Retraining is required if there is:

  1. A job assignment change involving the use of different LOTO procedures
  2. A change in processes, machines, or equipment that presents new hazards
  3. A change in the procedures on controlling energy
  4. Any reason to believe that an employee needs more knowledge on the energy control procedures
  5. An employee deviating from the established procedures

How knowledgeable are your employees with regards to the existing LOTO procedures in your workplace? You can use the followingchecklist for your reference:

Sample Lockout Tagout (LOTO) Training Assessment Checklist

Department: ____________________

Shop: ___________________________

Location: _______________________

Equipment: ____________________

  1. A. Has there been a change in equipment, machines, processes, or job assignments? 

__Y __N

  1. If so, have employees been retrained for these changes?

__Y __N

  1.  Are the locks uniquely keyed, identified, and used only for LOTO purposes?

__Y __N

  1. Does the tag used with the lock identify the employee servicing the equipment or machine?

__Y __N

  1. Have machine and equipment-specific LOTO procedures been documented?

__Y __N

  1. Does the employee know where the documented LOTO procedures are located?

__Y __N

  1. Before starting the LOTO processes, does the employee inform the affected and all other employees in the area?

__Y __N

  1. Can the employee identify all the sources of hazardous energy and their associated hazards for the machine or equipment that is to be locked out?

__Y __N

  1. Does the employee follow the proper LOTO procedures for de-energizing the machine or equipment?

__Y __N

  1. Does the employee demonstrate the right steps for the placement, removal, and transfer of LOTO devices?

__Y __N

  1. Does the employee use the right methods to verify whether the machine or equipment was de-energized?

__Y __N

  1. Before releasing the equipment or machine from LOTO, does the employee do the following:
  1. Inspect the equipment or machine to ensure it is operationally intact?

__Y __N

  1. Ensure that all employees are positioned at a safe distance?

__Y __N

  1. Notify affected and other employees in the area that the LOTO devices have been removed?

__Y __N

  1. If the answer is “No” to questions 2-11, has the employee been retrained?

__Y __N


Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n.d.).Lockout/Tagout eTool: Lockout-Tagout Tutorial.Retrieved 20 July 2021 from https://www.osha.gov/etools/lockout-tagout/tutorial

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n.d.).Lockout/Tagout eTool Tutorial: Scope and Application.Retrieved 20 July 2021 from https://www.osha.gov/etools/lockout-tagout/tutorial/scope-application

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. (n.d.).1910.147 - The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout). Retrieved 20 July 2021 from https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.147#1910.147(a)(1)(i)

Boise State University. (n.d.).Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout). Retrieved 20 July 2021 from https://www.boisestate.edu/oshcon/energy-control-program-lockout-tagout/

University of Washington: Environmental Health and Safety.Lockout - Tagout (LOTO) Annual Inspection and Training Assessment Checklist.Retrieved 27 July 2021 from https://www.ehs.washington.edu/system/files/resources/lotoanninspf.pdf


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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.


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