Stanford University

Lockout and Tagout Program

The Lockout and Tagout Program exists to safeguard employees from an unexpected start-up of machines or equipment, or the release of hazardous energy, while they are performing servicing or maintenance.

Authorized employees must attend both Tier Two (provided by EH&S) and Tier Three (provided by supervisors) trainings. All records must be retained for at least one year.


This program applies to cleaning, repairing, servicing, setup, and maintenance activities where unexpected energization or startup of equipment, or the release of stored energy, could result in injury to personnel. Specifically, this includes:

  • The removal or bypass of a guard or other safety device
  • Activities that require a person to place his or her body into an area of the equipment where work is being performed on material (point of operation), or where an associated danger zone exists during a machine-operating cycle


  • Minor tool changes and adjustments, and other minor servicing activities, which take place during normal production operations, are not covered by the Program, so long as they meet the following requirements:
    • The work is routine, repetitive, and integral to the use of the equipment or machinery for production.
    • The work is performed using alternative measures, which provide effective protection.
  • Work on cord and plug-connected equipment, for which the exposure to unexpected energization or startup is controlled by unplugging the equipment from the energy source, and where the plug is under the exclusive control of the employee performing the work, is not covered by the Program.

Repetitive process machines

If repetitive process machines (i.e. machines that require power or current continuance to maintain indexing and where repair, adjustment, testing, and setup operations cannot be accomplished with the prime mover or hazardous energy source disconnected) are introduced into the workplace, supervisors must contact EH&S to ensure compliance.

Key Elements of the Lockout and Tagout Program
  1. Machine and equipment evaluation

    Identify and evaluate machines and equipment for which lockout and tag procedures are required, with the following exceptions:

    • Minor tool changes, adjustments, and other servicing activities that take place during normal operations, are routine, repetitive, and integral to the use of the equipment or machinery, and are performed using alternative measures that provide effective protection.
    • Work on cord and plug-connected equipment, for which the exposure to hazardous energy is controlled by unplugging the equipment from the energy source, and the plug is under the exclusive control of the employee performing the work.

    Energy control (lockout and tagout) procedure

    To develop lockout and tagout procedures:


    Provide safety training to authorized employees. The training shall cover:

    • Hazardous energy control procedures
    • Hazards related to activities required for cleaning, repairing, servicing, setting up, and adjusting machinery and equipment.

    The training shall be documented. Contact EH&S at (650) 723-0448 for additional assistance.


    Provide the following instruction to affected employees (those who use or work in the area of the equipment):

    • Purpose and use of the energy control procedure
    • Prohibition of activating machines that are locked or tagged out

    Provide the following information to people who have access to the area (e.g. general public) where the activities are taking place:

    • A brief description of the work activity, indicating that the machine or equipment is powered down
    • Service dates and times
    • Contact information for the supervisor or building manager

    Locks, tags, and lockout devices

    Ensure that Stanford employees are provided a sufficient number of necessary locks, tags, and lockout devices.


    • A supervisor or a designated authorized employee who is not the authorized employee(s) who uses the lockout/tagout procedures must evaluate the continued effectiveness of the energy control procedures for each applicable operation using the Periodic Lockout/Tagout Inspection Form.
    • The procedures shall be updated in writing as needed.
    • This inspection shall occur at least annually and must be documented.

    Contractors and joint projects

    For energy control procedures:

    • If the department has developed written energy control procedures for a machine or piece of equipment, the outside contractor shall follow the Stanford procedure.
    • If there is no Stanford energy control procedure for a machine or piece of equipment, the contractor should develop an energy control procedure and provide applicable safety information (see above) to the supervisor or building manager. Any changes to such information must be immediately reported to the supervisor or building manager.

    For joint projects:

    • Stanford and contractor supervisors must ensure that all employees working on the equipment are aware of the energy control procedures and safe work practices.
    • Maintain open lines of communication among all parties working on the equipment.

  1. Authorized employees

    • Attend training on the Lockout and Tagout Program, including procedures for specific operations.
    • Assist in the development of lockout and tagout procedures for equipment and operations requiring them, as needed.
    • Follow safe work practices and procedures and use specified locks and tags.
    • Report unsafe conditions to the supervisor.
    • Complete the Lockout/Tagout Equipment/Machine-Specific Energy Control Procedure Form.


    • Provide required training for authorized employees (including the Lockout and Tagout Program and procedures for specific operations).
    • Maintain training records.
    • Ensure that all affected employees (whose job requires them to operate or use a machine or equipment on which cleaning, repairing, servicing, setting up or adjusting operations are being performed under lockout/tagout) are instructed on the purpose and the use of the lockout/tagout procedure.
    • Ensure that all affected employees, including those who work in the area where lockout/tagout procedures are implemented, are instructed of the prohibition of activating machines or equipment that are locked out or tagged out.
    • Provide work activity information (e.g. service dates and contact information) to people who may have access to the area where the operations are occurring (e.g. the general public).
    • Identify and evaluate equipment and operations that require lockout and tag procedures.
    • Develop lockout and tagout procedures for equipment and operations requiring them.
    • Ensure that a sufficient number and variety of locks, tags, and other necessary lockout devices (e.g. blank flanges, plug locks, gate valve covers, etc.) are available for shop use in routine and emergency situations.
    • Determine the authorized employee or person qualified to work on the machine or equipment.
    • Individually assign each authorized employee a lock, and the only key to that lock.
    • Ensure that non-Stanford personnel (i.e. contractors) are instructed to follow Stanford lockout and tagout procedures.
    • Ensure that periodic inspections are conducted and documented.


    • Develop and review the Lockout and Tagout Program.
    • Provide training on the Lockout and Tagout Program.
    • Assist supervisors in identifying and evaluating equipment and operations that require lockout and tag procedures, and in developing specific procedures.
    • Provide technical guidance on lockout and tag procedures, practices, and training.
    • Audit supervisors’ periodic inspections using the Periodic Lockout/Tagout Inspection Form.

  1. Authorized employees or people are qualified personnel who have been identified by their supervisor and trained (per the Training section) to clean, repair, service, or adjust machinery or equipment using lockout and tag procedures. Only authorized employees or people shall:

    • Lockout and tag machines or equipment
    • Work on de-energized electrical equipment or systems
    • De-energize or energize/re-energize the equipment

Contractor Work
  1. Contractors must follow their own lockout and tagout program and have their own energy isolation equipment (e.g. locks, tags, hasps, etc.).

    For Stanford’s lockout and tag procedures, see the Lockout/Tagout SOP.

    If the department has previously developed equipment-specific energy isolation, lockout, or tag procedures for any equipment that the contractor is working on, the contractor must follow the department’s procedure. If the equipment did not previously have a lockout and tag procedure, the contractor must survey the equipment and develop a written energy isolation procedure.

  1. Types of training/training content

    Authorized employees

    Stanford’s Lockout/Tagout Program (Tier Two)

    Training includes:

    • A review of the requirements of 8 CCR 3314 (Cleaning, Repairing, Servicing and Adjusting Prime Movers, Machinery, and Equipment) and other relevant regulations
    • Types and magnitudes of energy sources
    • Lockout and tag procedures for the isolation of energy sources
    • Procedures for removing locks and tags
    • Safe use and maintenance of extension tools, if used
    • Procedures for restoring energy
    • Review of the University’s Periodic Inspection Form

    Training for specific operations (Tier Three)

    Training includes a review of the lockout and tag procedure for the specific operation.

    Training frequency

    Initial training

    Authorized employees shall be trained before performing any operations requiring lockout and tag procedures.


    Retraining shall be given whenever:

    • There is a change in job assignment
    • There is a change in equipment or processes that would create a new hazard
    • There is a change in Stanford’s Lockout and Tagout Procedures
    • A periodic inspection reveals that there are deviations from, or inadequacies in, the employee’s knowledge or use of the energy control procedures, or whenever a supervisor has reason to believe there are deviations and inadequacies.


    Training records shall be retained for at least one year.

Energy Control Procedures
  1. Elements of written energy control procedures

    When employees are engaged in the cleaning, repairing, servicing, setting up, or adjusting of prime movers, machinery, and equipment, written hazardous energy control procedures shall be developed and utilized. The procedures shall include:

    • A statement of the intended use of the procedure
    • Procedural steps for shutting down, isolating, blocking, and securing machines or equipment to control hazardous energy
    • Procedural steps for the placement, removal, and transfer of lockout devices and associated tags, and the person responsible for these devices
    • Requirements for testing the equipment to determine and verify the effectiveness of the lockout and tag, and other energy control measures

    Equipment/machine-specific energy control (lockout/tagout) procedure

    • Supervisors or authorized employees must complete the equipment/machine-specific written procedure.
    • Authorized employees shall be trained on this procedure.
    • A copy of the written procedure should be located near the equipment or machine being serviced for review.

    Refer to the Lockout/Tagout SOP for the required elements of lockout and tag operations, as well as a template for equipment/machine-specific procedures. The SOP also includes provisions for lockout and tag operations involving more than one individual.

    Locks and tags

    Assigned locks should be substantial, durable, and labeled by name or identification number (to identify the lock’s user). Duplicate or master keys are not allowed and must be destroyed or discarded before the lock is issued to an authorized employee.

    Criteria for acceptable lockout and tagout devices are described in the definitions included in the glossary.

Periodic Inspection of Energy Control Procedures
  1. Personnel

    Inspections shall be conducted by an authorized employee who is not one of the designated employees using the energy control procedures being inspected (see the Periodic Lockout/Tagout Inspection Form).

    The inspection shall include a review, between the inspector and each authorized employee, of the employee’s particular responsibilities under the energy control procedures.

    Elements of inspection

    Periodic inspections shall be certified and shall include the following:

    • Identification of the machine or equipment for which the energy control procedures are used
    • Date of inspection
    • Employee(s) included in the inspection
    • Person performing the inspection


    Periodic inspection of the energy control procedures shall be conducted at least annually.


    The supervisor shall document and maintain inspections for at least one year.

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