What is a transition lock?

A red lock is used to indicate that the equipment is currently being serviced or maintained. But what if the worker is not actively working on the equipment that’s under a LOTO operation? This is when transition locks come into play. Transition locks come in gold color and are used for de-energizing equipment between work shifts.

When a piece of equipment or machinery must maintain its lockout status but a worker is not actively working on them, it is necessary to use transition locks and tags. One example of this is when equipment is still under lockout between work shifts.

So, while red locks are used to communicate that the equipment is actively being worked on, gold locks are used for these specific times of transition or extension of lockout tagout procedure in the 2nd or 3rd shift.

This means that even if the shift is over but servicing or maintenance is still not completed, the authorized employee should remove their personal red lock and tag and replace it with the transition lock and tag on the source. On the next work shift, the authorized employee must remove the transition lock and verify zero energy again, then apply their personal red lock.

This provides for LOTO continuity between employees while also requiring the worker to be sharp in LOTO procedures and verify zero energy at each source during each shift. The gold locks used in the transfer lock system are called “transition locks,” which may come in multiple keyed sets.


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