A proper lockout tagout procedure should include the following 6 steps:
- Preparation – The authorized employee must have a checklist, inspect, and accurately identify particular energy hazards present in the machine or equipment. Similarly, the authorized employee must be able to regulate the energy.
- Shut Down Equipment – Shut down any operating machinery and equipment that will be repaired or maintained. Ensure that workers affected by the equipment's shutdown are aware of the situation.
- Isolate Energy Sources – Make sure all energy sources have been shut off before proceeding. You can also disconnect and block lines and plugs or shut off gas valves, water valves, or forklift gas valves.
- Perform Lockout Tagout – All energy isolating devices must be attached to machinery and equipment that is turned off or closed by the authorized personnel. Once completed, a tag out must be added to the lock out so that others other than the authorized employee are notified if they have concerns about why the equipment is secured.
- Double-checking for Stored Energy – Isolating or locking out energy sources does not always guarantee zero presence of hazardous energy. Even after performing the lockout tagout, it is critical to double-check any energies that reside or remain in the power supply system, often known as “residual” energies. This stage of the process may need bleeding out the liquid or blowing out the air.
Verifying Isolation – Conducting a lockout tagout requires more than just application; it must also be verified for maximum security. Only when all machines have been shut down, disconnected from power sources, locked out all unexpected start-up components, examined for "stored" or "residual" energy, and ensured that all procedures have been done correctly, is it safe to work on.