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Does anyone other than equipment operators need to be trained in lockout/tagout?

By Henry Skjerven | Last updated: April 30, 2019
Presented by National Marker Company

Absolutely! Lockout/tagout (LOTO) is an administrative control system that protects workers from harm while working with, on, near, or in contact with an energized system. The OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.147 states that LOTO practices and procedures safeguard workers from the release of hazardous energy.

(Find out How to Build a Lockout/Tagout Policy to Prevent Tragic Outcomes.)

There are several OSHA standards pertaining to LOTO information. In terms of who should be trained in procedures and protocol, the OSHA standard also states the following:


Employers are required to train each worker to ensure that they know, understand, and are able to follow the applicable provisions of the hazardous energy control procedures. Workers must be trained in the purpose and function of the energy control program and have the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage and removal of the energy control devices.

Employees must know, understand, and be able to put into practice procedures for addressing and controlling hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment. All employees who work in an area where energy control procedure(s) are utilized need to be instructed in the purpose and use of the energy control procedure(s), especially prohibition against attempting to restart or re-energize machines or other equipment that are locked or tagged out.

The Standards also recommend continued retraining of all employees to maintain proficiency or introduce new or changed control methods.

Straightforward? Yes – for the end users. Here is a listing of the rest of the people who require training, and why:

  1. Senior Management: They are ultimately responsible for the company's safety management system. They need to know the basics about the system and the standards and safety principles of control behind it.
  2. Managers and Line Supervisors, Lead Hands, Union or Association Staff: These are the individuals who will lead, manage, and be responsible for the implementation and performance side of LOTO. They have the most personal interest, responsibility, accountability, and control for how the system works.
  3. Warehouse Managers, Company Buyers, and Supply Management Staff: These folks are the purchase side of the LOTO equation, responsible and accountable for the equipment, and often sourcing training used in lockout/tagout.
  4. Safety Professionals, Practitioners, and Committee Members: The safety professional and practitioner will be the lead on analysis and design in terms of the system, equipment, and procedure. Safety committee members will be called upon for input from the shop floor and often to assist in program or process development. Depending on the jurisdiction, they may also assist in incident investigation.
  5. Contractors: If they're on your site or under contract to you, they need the same training on your systems.
  6. Manufacturers and Suppliers of LOTO Equipment: They need education about your equipment and operations in order to ensure they can provide the best service.

Finally, it should be noted that 10% of serious injuries in many industries are LOTO-related. That alone justifies putting an emphasis on this control method.

So yes, train equipment operators – and all the others mentioned above, including any worker, manager, or contractor you feel needs to be trained.

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EHS Programs Lockout Tagout (LOTO)

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Logo for National Marker Company

Written by Henry Skjerven

Mr. Skjerven has consulted professionally for over 27 years, with extensive Canadian experience, literally from coast to coast but with a home base in Western Canada. His experience ranges from marketing, adult education, and heavy transportation (rail) to municipal public works, fleet and transportation, oil and gas construction in the tar sands, emergency response (Fire and Ambulance), Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Security, as well as human resources and software systems, including enterprise style projects.

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