Compliance Matters: Understanding OSHA Requirements For Lockout Tagout Training

Safety in the workplace is paramount. One domain in which the safety of an individual has to be taken with seriousness is LOTO (lockout tagout), which never needs to be toyed with when a repair or a maintenance work on machines is carried out. Such a system ensures that a machine is properly shut down and cannot be started up again before the repair/maintenance work is finished.

This safety procedure is not just good practice; it is enforced by law. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets these guidelines. There is no business that uses heavy machinery that should be ignorant enough not to understand and follow these regulations.

Lockout Tagout Basics

Lockout tagout is a safety procedure that prohibits a dangerous machine from being powered on until complete maintenance or repair works are done. This also includes the actual locking (with a padlock) and tagging (with a special note) of the energy source of the machine, so that no hazardous energy is discharged. For example, a worker may place a lock on the breaker feeding electricity to a motor to ensure that there is no possibility that the motor comes on while they are working on it.

All employees who are operating or maintaining equipment will be required to be provided with lockout tagout training. The training shall enable the workers to know what equipment is included in LOTO, as well as the different means to control the energy flow to such equipment. 

OSHA’s Role in Lockout Tagout Training

OSHA guidelines for lockout tagout training are set quite high. These guidelines require training programs to include identification of hazardous energy sources and the means or methods by which each is rendered safe; along with the procedures to be followed. To adhere to such standards not only serves to fulfill the requirements of the law but is also in the best interest of human life.

The agency also mandates that training be conducted when job assignments change, new machinery is introduced, a new energy control procedure is enacted, or when an employee is found to be lacking in necessary knowledge.

Good Lockout Tagout Training

A good LOTO training program will explain how to apply and remove locks and tags and what limitations there may be. The training will also need to be tailored to the specific work facility, being specific about different machinery and situations that might be encountered.

Another important factor is practicality. Workers must have the opportunity to apply locks and tags under the supervisory guidance of a competent instructor. The practical experience will help to set them into the procedures that seem intimidating when learned for the first time. 

Monitoring and Audit Adherence 

Regular auditing and inspection provide assurance of compliance with OSHA standards. Routine audits will provide evidence of lapses in training, which are indicators of where proper application of the procedures may not be in place. Proper documentation of training and audits will prove compliance in the event of an OSHA inspection. 


Proper lockout tagout training for safety on the job is important. If your company follows the guidance from OSHA, then it will not only be legally compliant but also ensure that each of its employees returns home every day. Remember, safety training saves lives.

Leave a Comment