The Importance of Lockout Tagout Training

Lockout tagout training is a way to protect yourself and others by ensuring that your forklift remains completely, temporarily off. In this article we will outline why lockout tagout training is important, what it is, what the Ontario regulations are, why you need training, and basic steps for lockout tagout. Lockout and tagout is more than putting a lock on a switch; it consists of a comprehensive step-by-step processes that involves communication, coordination, and training. Contact us for lockout tagout training.

The Importance of Lockout Tagout Training


Forklifts undoubtedly break down and need service. Shutting them off is just not enough when repairs are required, because someone can just come along and hop on the truck, totally unaware of any issue. They may start the truck, begin driving and a major accident happens. Many serious accidents have happened when someone thought a machine was safely shut off.

According to OSHA(Occupational Safety and Health Act), following proper Lockout Tagout procedures prevents an estimated 120 fatalities and 50,000 injuries each year. It consistently ranks among the top of workplace violations. Many serious accidents have occurred because someone thought a machine was safely shut off and it wasn’t. Lockout tagout will protect you and others from injuries and fatalities. It’s very important to create change in a workplace. Organizations need to have long-term vision for plant safety and generate awareness for employers, supervisors and employees regarding hazardous energy control.  A positive attitude can prevent injuries, and a loss in production time can be minimized while profitability can be increased. One way to keep workers safe is through a dedication to Lockout Tagout.

Today many manufacturers are very focused on cutting costs and improving production efficiency; however there’s no need to sacrifice employee safety. Not being compliant with the safety rules will have big consequences – fines, penalties, plant shutdowns and fatalities. Simply LOTO (lockout tagout) is a safety practice that protects employees and visitors. Follow the six steps to ensure your safety:

  • Prepare

  • Control the energy source

  • Isolate the equipment

  • Attach LOTO devices

  • Control stored energy

  • Verify that there is zero energy left

Note: ONLY the authorized individual who placed the lock and tag onto the system is the one who is permitted to remove them. This procedure helps make sure the system cannot be started up without the authorized individual’s knowledge.

What is Lockout Tagout Training? 

Lockout tagout (LOTO) or lock and tag is a safety procedure which is used in industry to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and not able to be started up again before work is started on the equipment in question. Lockout is a lock and key device which physically locks the forklift in a safe mode and tagout is a tag placed on the lock to identify the worker who placed it and may not be operated until the tagout device is removed.The worker then holds the key for the lock ensuring that only he or she can remove the lock and start the machine. In most cases, these devices will have loops or tabs which can be locked to a stationary item in a safe position. This minimizes workplace confusion; essentially, the equipment or forklift won’t operate, and everyone is kept informed as to why.


Tagout is used when lockout is required. A tag affixed to the locked device cautions that it should not be turned on.This labeling process is used to include the following information:

1.Why the lockout/tag out is required (repair, maintenance, etc.)
2.Time of application of the lock/tag
3.The name of the authorized person who attached the tag and lock to the system.

Lockout devices hold energy-isolation devices in a safe or “off” position; it’s a warning device. It provides protection by preventing machines or equipment from becoming energized that no one can remove it without a key. This prevents accidental startup of a machine while it is in a hazardous state or while a worker is in direct contact with it.

Note: ONLY the authorized individual who placed the lock and tag onto the system is the one who is permitted to remove it. This procedure helps make sure the system cannot be started up without the authorized individual’s knowledge.

What are the Ontario regulations?

Lockout is defined in the Canadian standard lockout method CSA Z460-13 There is states that “Control of Hazardous Energy – deliberate or unintended release of hazardous energy carries the very real risk of serious injuries or even fatality. A business must be able to demonstrate due diligence toward prevention of electrical injuries to implement safety practices when employees work on or near hazardous energy. Lockout is recognized as the primary method, while there are several effective methods for controlling hazardous energy associated with potentially harmful equipment, machines and processes.”  This standard outlines the responsibility and minimum requirements to protect individuals from injury from the inadvertent release of hazardous energy when working with equipment and machines


CSA Z460-13, Control of hazardous energy, says that only authorized, or qualified, personnel should do energy isolation and lockout. “Authorized” persons are distinguished from “affected” persons who are those not directly involved in the work requiring energy control but who may be in the area. Employers should have written procedures specific to each machine that needs to be maintained or repaired. Procedures will identify the machine, the types of energy sources on the machine and the number and types of equipment needed to perform the lockout.

The OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) (29 CFR 1910.147) for general industry, outlines specific actions and procedures for addressing and controlling hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment. Regulations require employers to put safety procedures in place to protect workers by totally isolating machinery from the energy sources that drive them.

Why is it Important?

People are the most valuable asset you have in your company. It is important to realize that accidents can easily occur in industrial work settings if things are not properly handled and contained, and this is mostly attributed to the materials and processes that industrial plants have to deal with on a daily basis. While manufacturers today are very focused on cutting costs and improving production efficiency, there’s no need to sacrifice employee safety. The consequences of not being in compliance with safety regulations are drastic – potential fines for violating the regulations can be severe. The minimum fine is $5,000 to $70,000 if no deaths occur. Criminal charges and a fine of $250,000 to $500,000 will be issued for loss of life situations.

Preparation and practice are keys to ensuring that machines are locked out, or tagged without a hitch. Every team member should keep on their toes and remain sharp; this preparation will reduce the chances of an accident. Similar to the way in which training helps you stay prepared, it also allows you to properly test all your equipment and ensure that they are being properly maintained. If the equipment within your industrial setting is not being properly maintained, there is always the possibility that a lockout tagout procedure will not necessarily contain and isolate any hazardous energy. A lockout tagout procedure is like an “emergency and safety plan”. Essentially, industries have to understand the differences between an authorized employee and an affected employee, and then work this into their standing safety plans. The following video further highlights the importance of lockout tagout procedure.

Lockout tagout standard saves about 122 lives and prevents 28,000 lost workday injuries each year, therefore it’s likely that well over 800 lives have been saved since the standard went into effect. That’s more than 800 people who still come home to their families friends and loved ones. Unfortunate tragedies do still occur, but many of them could be prevented if the lockout standard is applied correctly.

Who needs the training?

 Training is an important part of industrial safety protocol, and it is one of the keys to ensuring that industrial spaces remain safe, secure, and efficient when handling their day to day activities. To ensure operators understand the importance of lock out and energy isolation procedures, you should involve workers in the process. They can see the dangers and risks involved, and understand why they have to follow the procedures. All authorized employees, affected employees who service or maintain equipment should be trained to protect them from serious injury and death caused for hazardous energy. Additionally temporary personnel as well as outside service and contractor personnel must also be trained in hazardous energy control. The OSHA standard concerning lockout tagout reads, OSHAconsiders these training requirements to be of critical importance in helping to ensure that the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control procedures are known, understood,and strictly adhered to by employees. Employers are required to certify that effective training and retraining has been provided to all employees covered by the standard. The certification must contain each employee’s name and dates of training.

Each party in the workplace has a responsibility in the lockout program. In general:

Management is responsible for:

  • Drafting, periodically reviewing, and updating the written program.

  • Identifying the employees, machines, equipment, and processes included in the program.

  • Providing the necessary protective equipment, hardware and appliances.

  • Monitoring and measuring conformance with the program.

Supervisors are responsible for:

  • Distributing protective equipment, hardware, and any appliance; and ensuring its proper use by employees.

  • Ensuring that equipment-specific procedures are established for the machines, equipment and processes in their area.

  • Ensuring that only properly trained employees perform service or maintenance that require lockout.

  • Ensuring that employees under their supervision follow the established lockout procedures where required.


Employees are responsible for:

  • Assisting in the development of equipment-specific procedures.

  • Following the procedures that have been developed.

  • Reporting any problems associated with those procedures, the equipment, or the process of locking and tagging out.

We recommend that you should renew your training every 3 years. Proper and effective training can be the difference between a safe work setting and a hazardous one. Lockout Tagout protocols make it easier to implement safety measures, but these protocols are only as strong as the teams that carry them out, and this is where proper lock tagout training comes into play. It is often the case that people neglect to follow these guidelines, and in the absence of an effective training program, it may go unnoticed.

What industries is it most relevant in?

 Any industry or business that uses some kind of machinery or equipment requires lockout tagout procedures. Unexpected energization or startup of machines and equipment, or release of stored energy can cause injury. Any moving parts like presses, blades and propellers are a source of energy. Electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and pneumatic are hazardous energy that can harm workers. Lockout tagout does not apply to all scenarios, but equipment that can be affected by stored energy include maintenance equipment, hoists, automotive lifts, material handling equipment, and other machinery.  Below is a few examples of some industries that are most often use lockout tagout training and procedures.

  1. Manufacturing –  Machinery and equipment used in the manufacturing process for companies such as Pepsi, Coke, and Intel are often powerful and dangerous. 

  2. Government –  Areas of concern include boiler rooms, kitchens, loading docks, and rooftops; basically, any areas of the building where equipment that might have “stored energy” is found.

  3. Equipment Repair and Service – Modern machinery can store many different kinds of energy. These include electricity, hydraulic, gas, thermal, gravity, pneumatic, steam and kinetic.

  4. Wholesale & Distribution –  Because of the automation revolution, massive conveyor belt systems move products from place to place with little or no human interaction in companies such as Amazon and  Fedex.

  5. Mining – There are many energy sources in the mining industry including electricity, machinery, pressure lines and vessels, sliding/falling material and other miscellaneous sources.

  6. Utilities –  Energy generating requirements include both external power and energy to operate the plant itself such as wind turbines.

  7. Waste Management – This industry uses large trucks with powerful components such as the garbage truck and conveyor belts.

  8. Rail Transport – Trains have a lot of moving parts  such as the brake system and require loading processes which involve equipment and machinery.

How Can You Determine When a Machine Must Be Locked Out?

However, it is sometimes difficult to determine when a machine must be locked out and when servicing can be safely accomplished without lockout. The rule that OSHA states is that:

  • An employee places part of their body in harm’s way.

  • An employee performs any major servicing or maintenance work.

What are the basic steps of lockout tagout?

Think, Plan, and Check.

• If you are in charge, think through the entire procedure.
• Identify all parts of any systems that need to be shut down.
• Determine what switches, equipment and people will be involved. 
• Carefully plan how restarting will take place. Communicate. 
• Notify all those who need to know that a lockout tagout procedure …

Some basic steps are common to all lockout tagout procedures, though you will need to get more specific for your individual situation. An effective lockout tagout program should include the following 9 steps listed below.


Wayco is located in Kitchener, Ontario and services customers from cities such as  Mississauga, Brampton, Hamilton, Milton, Kitchener, Cambridge, London, Guelph and many other local cities. Lockout is an essential safety procedure that prevents equipment, machines and processes from harming workers. Contact us today for qualified training in your workplace or onsite at WAYCO’s training facility!