Machines and equipment capable of causing injury due to unexpected energization or start up of the machinery and equipment, or the release of stored energy during servicing and maintenance shall be locked out/tagged out in accordance with this policy.

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This policy only applies to the control of energy during servicing and/or maintenance of machines and equipment. Normal production operations are not covered by this policy unless an employee is required to remove or bypass a guard or other safety device or is required to place any part of his or her body into a point of operation or where an associated danger zone exists during a machine operating cycle. Exception: Minor tool changes and adjustments, and other minor servicing activities, which take place during normal production operations are not covered if they are routine, repetitive, and integral to the use of the equipment for production, provided that the work is performed using alternative measures which provide effective protection.

This policy does NOT apply to the following:

  • Work on cord and plug connected electric equipment for which exposure to the hazards of unexpected energization or start up of the equipment is controlled by unplugging the equipment from the energy source and the plug remains under the exclusive control of the employee performing the servicing or maintenance; and
  • Hot tap operations involving transmission and distribution systems for substances such as gas, steam, water, or petroleum products when they are performed on pressurized pipelines that the employer demonstrates that continuity of service is essential; shutdown of the system is impractical; and documented procedures are followed, and special equipment is used which will provide proven effective protection for employees.

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Energy Sources

The potential sources of energy from equipment and process include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Electricity;
  • Pneumatic and hydraulic lines in the machinery;
  • Spring tension or compression;
  • Compressed air;
  • Steam and condensate lines under pressure;
  • Suspended parts;
  • Chemical;
  • Nuclear;
  • Thermal;
  • Gas;
  • Water; and
  • Vacuum.

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Authority and Responsibility

Departments with employees affected by this program are responsible for:

  • Designating a Departmental Program Coordinator who will be responsible for all phases of the lockout/tagout program at the departmental level;
  • Inspecting all facilities to develop an inventory of equipment and energy sources for which lockout protection is necessary;
  • Developing equipment specific energy control procedures as needed;
  • Maintaining, revising, and updating these procedures;
  • Providing all necessary lockout/tagout equipment;
  • Providing specific lockout/tagout training for employees;
  • Conducting annual lockout/tagout audits;
  • Maintaining any pertinent records (e.g., energy control procedures); and
  • Taking the appropriate corrective action in accordance with the University of Chicago’s Personnel Policy on Progressive Corrective Action, Section 703 for employees not complying with lockout/tagout procedures.

Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for:

  • Reviewing the overall Lockout/Tagout Program;
  • Conducting general lockout/tagout training and retraining as required;
  • Conducting annual lockout/tagout audits;
  • Issuing locks; and
  • Maintaining all training records.

Employees are responsible for:

  • Complying with all aspects of this program and any department-specific energy control procedures developed as a result of program implementation;
  • Applying energy control procedures during equipment/machinery servicing and maintenance;
  • Reporting any necessary changes to an existing energy control procedure or the need to develop a new procedure; and
  • Reporting any deviations of this program to his/her immediate supervisor.

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Protective Materials and Hardware

Locks, tags, chains, wedges, key blocks, adapter pins, self-locking fasteners, devices, or other hardware shall be provided at no cost to each employee from his/her department for the purpose of isolating, securing, or blocking of machines or equipment from energy sources.

Lockout/tagout devices shall be singularly identified; shall be the only device(s) used for controlling energy; shall NOT be used for other purposes and shall be approved by Environmental Health and Safety to ensure all devices meet the requirements of the standard.

Tags are not required if locks are otherwise indelibly marked so as to identify the person(s) to whom the lock belongs.

Locks are color-coded per working group for University employees on campus to assist in identifying users. The authorized person applying a lock shall keep the key for that lock in his/her possession until the lock is removed. The following color-codes are used at the University:

Department; Lock Color

  • Facilities Operations – Steam Plant: Red
  • Facilities Operations – North Campus: Yellow
  • Facilities Operations – Hull Court: Teal
  • Facilities Operations – South Campus: Blue
  • Facilities Operations – Electric Shop: Orange
  • Facilities Operations – BAS & PdM: Purple
  • Facilities Operations - Residential Properties: Black
  • Facilities Operations - Campus and Student Life: Green

Supervisors shall contact Environmental Health and Safety to request locks for new employees. The employee being issued the locks is responsible for picking the locks up at Environmental Health and Safety. Each employee will be issued two personal locks.

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Specific Equipment Energy Control Procedures

The Department Program Coordinator shall inspect all facilities and consult with employees and supervisors assigned to service and maintain equipment/machinery in order to generate a list of equipment and energy sources for which lockout protection is necessary in accordance with the Machine/Equipment Inventory & Energy Audit Checklist.

Equipment specific energy control procedures shall be developed, documented and utilized for the control of potentially hazardous energy in accordance with the Energy Control Procedures.

Exception: A specific equipment procedure for a particular machine or equipment is not necessary when all of the following elements exist:

  • The machine or equipment has no potential for stored or residual energy or reaccumulation of stored energy after shut down which could endanger employees;
  • The machine or equipment has a single energy source which can be readily identified and isolated;
  • The isolation and locking out of that energy source will completely deenergize and deactivate the machine or equipment;
  • The machine or equipment is isolated from that energy source and locked out during servicing or maintenance;
  • A single lockout device will achieve a locked-out condition;
  • The lockout device is under the exclusive control of the authorized employee performing the servicing or maintenance;
  • The servicing or maintenance does not create hazards for other employees; and
  • The employer, initializing this exception, does not have any accidents involving the unexpected activation or reenergization of the machine or equipment during servicing or maintenance.

One energy control procedure may be used for similar machines and/or equipment if the procedure adequately addresses the unexpected energization hazards related to each machine and/or equipment.

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General Lockout Procedures

The following general procedure establishes the minimum requirements for the lockout of energy isolating devices whenever maintenance or servicing is done on machines or equipment. It shall be used to ensure that the machine or equipment is stopped, isolated from all potentially hazardous energy sources and locked out before employees perform any servicing or maintenance where the unexpected energization or start up of the machine or equipment or release of stored energy could cause injury.

All employees are required to comply with the restrictions and limitations imposed upon them during the use of lockout. The authorized employee(s) is required to perform the lockout in accordance with this general procedure or departmental equipment specific procedure. All employees, upon observing a machine or piece of equipment which is locked out to perform servicing or maintenance shall not attempt to start, energize, or use that machine or equipment. Each department shall take the appropriate corrective action in accordance with the University of Chicago’s Personnel Policy on Progressive Corrective Action, Section 703 for employees not complying with lockout/tagout procedures.

Sequence of Lockout

  1. Notify all affected employees that servicing or maintenance is required on a machine or equipment and that the machine or equipment must be shut down and locked out to perform the servicing or maintenance.
  2. The authorized employee shall refer to the company procedure to identify the type and magnitude of the energy that the machine or equipment utilizes, shall understand the hazards of the energy, and shall know the methods to control the energy.
  3. If the machine or equipment is operating, shut it down by the normal stopping procedure (e.g., depress the stop button, open switch, close valve).
  4. De-activate the energy isolating device(s) so that the machine or equipment is isolated from the energy source(s).
  5. Lock out the energy isolating device(s) with assigned individual lock(s).
  6. Dissipate or restrain stored or residual energy (e.g., capacitors, springs, elevated machine members, rotating flywheels, hydraulic systems, and air, gas, steam, or water pressure) using methods such as grounding, repositioning, blocking, or bleeding down.
  7. Ensure that the equipment is disconnected from the energy source(s) by first checking that no personnel are exposed, then verify the isolation of the equipment by operating the push button or other normal operating control(s) or by testing to make certain the equipment will not operate. CAUTION: Return operating control(s) to neutral or “off” position after verifying the isolation of the equipment.
  8. The machine or equipment is now locked out.

Restoring Machines or Equipment to Normal Production Operations

  1. Check the machine or equipment and the immediate area around the machine to ensure that nonessential items have been removed and that the machine or equipment components are operationally intact.
  2. Check the work area to ensure that all employees have been safely positioned or removed from the area.
  3. Verify that the controls are in neutral.
  4. Remove the lockout devices and reenergize the machine or equipment. Note: The removal of some forms of blocking may require reenergization of the machine before safe removal.
  5. Notify affected employees that the servicing or maintenance is completed and the machine or equipment is ready for use.

Testing or Positioning of Machines, Equipment, or Components

In situations in which lockout or tagout devices must be temporarily removed from the energy isolating device and the machine or equipment energized to test or position the machine, equipment or component thereof, the following sequence of actions shall be followed:

  1. Clear the machine or equipment of tools and materials;
  2. Remove employees from the machine or equipment area;
  3. Remove the lockout or tagout device;
  4. Energize and proceed with testing or positioning; and
  5. Deenergize all systems and apply energy control measures.

Lockout Log Book

Long-term, after hour or overnight lockouts shall be documented in a log book utilizing the Lockout Log Book. The log book shall be reviewed during all facility inspections addressing lockout and shall be made available upon request to the Program Coordinator and/or representatives from Environmental Health and Safety.

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Tagout Procedures

A tagout system shall ONLY be used when an energy isolating device is not capable of being locked out and upon the approval of Environmental Health and Safety.

When a tag is used without a lock, it shall be supplemented by at least one additional safety measure that provides a level of safety equivalent to that obtained by using a lock. Additional safety measures include the removal of an isolating circuit element, blocking of a controlling switch, opening of an extra disconnecting device, or the removal of a valve handle to reduce the likelihood of inadvertent energization.

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Obsolete/Abandoned Equipment

All obsolete/abandoned equipment that still has the ability to function shall be locked out and tagged with a condemned equipment tag. All power sources for this equipment shall be disconnected and the equipment removed from the facility within a reasonable time frame.

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Refitting Equipment

All machinery, equipment, and processes must be capable of being locked out. An energy isolating device is capable of being locked out if it has a hasp or other means of attachment to which, or through which, a lock can be affixed, or it has a locking mechanism built into it. Other energy isolating devices are capable of being locked out, if lockout can be achieved without the need to dismantle, rebuild, or replace the energy isolating device or permanently alter its energy control capability.

Whenever replacement or major repair, renovation, or modification of a machine or equipment is performed, and whenever new machines or equipment are installed, energy isolating devices for such machine or equipment shall be designed to accept a lockout device.

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Removing Abandoned Locks/Tags

Each lockout or tagout device shall ONLY be removed from each energy isolating device by the employee who applied the device.

Exception: When the authorized employee who applied the lockout or tagout device is not available to remove it, that device may be removed by the employee’s immediate supervisor under the approval of Environmental Health and Safety. Prior to contacting Environmental Health and Safety for approval, the supervisor shall verify that the employee who applied the device is not at the facility by:

  • Visually inspecting the area, machine, equipment, or process to ensure the employee has left the facility;
  • Check the time card or other record to determine if the employee has left the facility;
  • Contact fellow workers (pager, telephone, radio) to determine whether the employee is still in the facility;
  • Physically attempt to locate the employee; and
  • Attempt to make contact with the employee at home.

When the employee still CANNOT be located:

  • Complete the Abandoned Lock Removal Request Form and submit to Environmental Health and Safety at safety@uchicago.edu;
  • Continue to make all reasonable efforts to contact the employee to inform him/her that his/her lockout or tagout device has been removed;
  • Ensure the authorized employee has knowledge regarding the removal of the lockout/tagout device before resuming work at the facility prior to his/her next scheduled shift;
  • The employee shall not be permitted to undertake any future lockout task until the circumstances surrounding the incident have been discussed between the employee and his/her immediate supervisor; and
  • The employee shall retrieve their removed lock from Environmental Health and Safety.

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Outside Contractors

Whenever outside servicing personnel are to be engaged in activities covered by the scope and application of this policy, departmental supervisors and outside contractors shall inform each other of their respective lockout/tagout procedures.

Departmental supervisors shall ensure that his/her employees understand and comply with the restrictions and prohibitions of the outside employer’s energy control program.

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Group Lockout

When servicing and/or maintenance is performed by a crew or group of trades or departments, they shall utilize a procedure which affords the employees a level of protection equivalent to that provided by the implementation of a personal lockout or tagout device.

Group lockout devices shall be used in accordance with the general procedures listed in this policy and include the following specific requirements:

  • One authorized employee shall be designated as responsible for the group lockout/tagout device;
  • The hazardous energy control procedure shall be reviewed with each group member;
  • If more than one crew, trade, or department is involved, one authorized employee shall coordinate the lockout/tagout to ensure that all control measures are applied and there is continuity of protection for the group; and
  • Each authorized employee shall affix a personal lockout or tagout device to the group lockout device, group lockbox, or comparable mechanism when he or she begins work, and shall remove those devices when he or she stops working on the machine or equipment being serviced or maintained.

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Shift Changes

When lockout intends to run past the end of an assigned workshift, the employee shall notify his/her immediate supervisor as soon as possible. The supervisor will then relay this information to the oncoming supervisor or leadman. If necessary, the previous employee initiating the lockout will remove his/her lock. If lockout of the equipment is still necessary, the individual responsible from the oncoming shift will ensure an employee from the new shift applies his/her lockout device on the unit after the person from the previous shift has removed his/her lock.

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Facility Inspections

The Departmental Program Coordinator shall designate an authorized employee (e.g., supervisors) other than the one(s) utilizing the energy control procedure being inspected to conduct periodic inspections of the energy control procedure at least annually to ensure that the procedure and the requirements of this policy are being followed.

This inspection shall be conducted utilizing the Lockout/Tagout Periodic Inspection – Checklist and Certification.

This inspection shall be utilized to correct any deviations or inadequacies identified and shall include a review between the inspector and each authorized and affected employee.

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Environmental Health and Safety shall conduct general lockout/tagout training to ensure that the purpose and function of the energy control program are understood by employees and that the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage, and removal of the energy controls are acquired by employees. Training on equipment specific procedures shall be conducted by the appropriate department.

This training shall utilize the “Lockout/Tagout” training booklet generated by Environmental Health and Safety which shall be updated as necessary to ensure consistency with changes in protective equipment and work processes.

Each authorized employee shall receive training in the following:

  • Recognition of applicable hazardous energy sources;
  • Type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace;
  • Purpose and use of the energy control procedure;
  • Methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control; and
  • Nature and limitations of tags.

All other employees whose work operations are or may be in an area where energy control procedures may be utilized, shall be instructed about the procedure, and about the prohibition relating to attempts to restart or reenergize machines or equipment which are locked or tagged out.

Each authorized and affected employee will receive initial training prior to his/her first assignment to a job involving exposure. Retraining shall be provided whenever there is a change in an employee’s job assignment(s), a change in machines, equipment or processes that present a new hazard, employer believes that there are deviations from, or inadequacies in the procedures, or when there is a change in the energy control procedures.

Additional retraining shall also be conducted whenever a periodic inspection reveals, or whenever Environmental Health and Safety has reason to believe that there are deviations from or inadequacies in the employee’s knowledge or use of the energy control procedures.

All training records shall be maintained by Environmental Health and Safety.

Reviewed: February 2017

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