Version History
Original Program, Facilities Services
MSU Program


1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this Lockout/Tagout Program is to prevent injury to servicing or maintenance staff due to unexpected energization or startup of machines and equipment or release of stored energy. 

The program fulfills Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulatory requirements in 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.147, The Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout), along with responsibilities in the Montana State University (MSU) Environment, Health & Safety Policy.

2.0 Scope

This program covers all lockout/tagout operations within the MSU Bozeman campus as well as locally leased work spaces used by MSU faculty and staff.

Hazardous energy sources include electrical; mechanical; pneumatic; hydraulic; thermal; and other less obvious sources such as springs under tension or compression, or chemical, water and gas systems.

The program covers servicing and maintenance of machines, equipment and systems in which the energization or startup of the machines, equipment or systems, or release of stored energy, could harm employees.

This program does not cover:

  1. Servicing and maintenance during normal production operations (use of machines and equipment) unless:
    1. An employee removes or bypasses a guard or other safety device; or
    2. An employee is required to place any part of his/her body into an area on a machine or piece of equipment where work is being performed on the material being processed.

Exceptions to the OSHA standard are listed in Appendix A.

3.0 Responsibilities

3.1 Deans, Directors, and Department Heads

Responsible for:

  1. Ensuring compliance with this program in their respective areas of responsibility;
  2. Ensuring corrective actions are taken to remedy deficiencies identified in their respective areas of responsibility;
  3. Stopping and/or complying with SRM requests to cease any activity which presents an unreasonable health or safety risk to employees, students or visitors; and
  4. Contacting SRM in regards to areas where lockout/tagout may be required and is not already in use by trained employees.

3.2 MSU Leadership, Managers, Supervisors, Faculty and Principal Investigators (PI)

Responsible for:

  1. Ensuring implementation of this program in their areas;
  2. Contacting SRM SRM in regards to areas where lockout/tagout may be required and is not already in use by trained employees;
  3. Ensuring their employees and students are trained if their job duties require use of lockout/tagout.

3.3 Authorized (Trained and assigned) Employees

Responsible for:

  1. Complying with this program;
  2. Reporting to their supervisors in situations in which lockout/tagout is not being used as required.

3.4 Safety Coordinators (SC)

Responsible for:

  1. Coordinating with Deans, Directors, Department Heads, Building Supervisors, and SRM to assist in program implementation; and
  2. Using lockout/tagout as a topic in periodic safety meetings.

3.5 Safety & Risk Management

Responsible for:

  1. Developing and updating this program;
  2. Providing lockout/tagout training;
  3. Consulting, as appropriate, with employees on appropriate lockout/tagout hardware;
  4. Providing support in program implementation; and
  5. Performing periodic inspections to assist in deficiency identification and correction.

3.6 Environment, Safety & Health Committee

Responsible for:

  1. Reviewing and recommending adoption of this program.

4.0 Lockout/Tagout

If an energy isolating device is capable of being locked out, lockout will be used.  If it is not capable of being locked out, tagout will be used.  Lockout/tagout can only be performed by an authorized (trained) worker.

4.1 Simple Lockout Description

A simple lockout is one that does not require a written procedure.  It is typically one energy source, one lockout device, one authorized employee, and no stored energy.

                                                                Simple Lockout
ONE energy source - ONE lockout device - ONE authorized worker - NO stored energy.


A “Simple Lockout” meets ALL of the conditions below:

  1. The machine or equipment has no potential for stored energy or re-accumulation of stored energy after shutdown;
  2. The machine or equipment has a single energy source which can be readily identified and isolated;
  3. The isolation and locking device will completely de-energize and deactivate the machine or equipment;
  4. The lockout device is under the exclusive control of the authorized employee;
  5. Servicing the equipment does not create hazards for the employee; and
  6. No accidents have occurred with the machine or equipment involving unexpected activation or re-energization during servicing.

4.2 Simple Lockout Process

                                                              Simple Lockout Process
Prepare ⇒ Notify ⇒ Isolate ⇒ Verify ⇒ Work ⇒ Notify ⇒ Reenergize


  1. Prepare for shutdown/isolation of hazardous energy:
    1. The authorized person must have knowledge of the type and magnitude of the hazardous energy and how it is controlled;
    2. The authorized person must know the single energy source and the readily identifiable isolation device; and
    3. The authorized person must know that there is no potential for stored energy;
  2. Radio notification that the machine/equipment/system is being locked out in a safe or off position;
  3. Verify isolation;
  4. Perform work safely;
  5. Clear the area of tools and personnel;
  6. Radio notification that the machine/equipment/system is being re-energized; and
  7. Remove lockout device and safely re-energize.

If lockout must be removed for testing, follow the process; test; and repeat as required.

IMPORTANT:  Each lockout device (or tag) must be removed by the employee who installed it.  If this is not possible due to staff availability, the process outlined in the “Hardware Removal” section should be followed.  If the lockout must go for more than one shift, the beginning worker should remove his/her lock and the new worker should install his/her own lock, re-verify, and begin work.

4.3 Complex Lockout Description

A “complex lockout” is any lockout not meeting the criteria for “simple lockout.”  It includes lockouts with multiple energy sources, multiple workers, etc.

Complex Lockouts require a procedure containing:

  1. Steps for safe shutdown, isolating, blocking and securing;
  2. Steps for placement/removal of locking devices;
  3. Verification that energy has been isolated (and continuous verification if stored energy could re-accumulate);
  4. Whether the lockout is an individual or group lockout; and
  5. Whether or not a shift change is involved (if yes, name of person responsible for maintaining continuity).

As with simple lockouts, the knowledge of the type and magnitude of energy must be known by authorized workers and tools and personnel must be clear of the immediate area when re-energizing. 

The procedure to help communicate this to involved parties is shown in Appendix B.

IMPORTANT: Each lockout or tagout device should be removed by the employee who installed it.  If this is not possible due to staff availability, the process outlined in the “Hardware Removal” section should be followed.

4.4 Group Lockout

Group Lockouts must provide the same level of control as individual lockouts.  When a crew or multiple craft are working on the same equipment or system, the following applies:

  1. A group hasp will be used and each worker shall apply their own lock;
  2. Primary responsibility is assigned and is noted on the procedure;
  3. The worker with primary responsibility will apply his/her lock first and will remove it last. This person ensures shift change continuity.

4.5 Tagout

Tagout should only be used if a device cannot be locked out.  The tagout device must be attached at the same location that a lockout deice would have been, and should be removed by the person affixing it.  If it cannot be affixed directly to the energy isolating device, it must be as close as possible and obvious to anyone who might attempt to operate the equipment or system.

Tags often provide a false sense of security and do not provide the same level of protection as locks.  Since tagout must ultimately provide an equivalent level of protection, additional safety methods such as removal of an isolating circuit or valve handle should be implemented.

Tagout devices must warn against hazardous conditions of the equipment if it is re-energized and must say Do Not Start, Do Not Open, Do Not Close, Do Not Energize, Do Not Operate, or the like.  Tagout devices, including their means of attachment, should be substantial enough to prevent inadvertent or accidental removal.

Tagout devices shall be:

  1. Legible and understandable;
  2. Of a non-reusable type;
  3. Attachable by hand; and/or
  4. Self-locking and non-releasable with a minimum unlocking strength of 50 pounds.

Note: A one-piece nylon cable tie typically meets these requirements.

The same removal process for lockout should be followed for tagout.

4.6 Hardware Requirements

Lockout/tagout hardware includes items such as locks, tags, chains, wedges, key blocks, adapter pins, and self-locking fasteners.  This hardware must be:

  1. Provided by MSU;
  2. Not used for other purposes;
  3. Durable and standardized;
  4. Substantial (removal is difficult);
  5. Identifiable (tags have authorized person’s name); and
  6. Legible and understandable.

4.7 Hardware Removal

In the event an authorized worker is unavailable to remove a lockout or tagout device, the supervisor (typically the Foreman) will:

  1. Verify the individual is unavailable;
  2. Make an effort to contact that person prior to removing lock/tag; and
  3. Perform the same steps as if it were the supervisor’s own lock.

5.0 Training

Training for all lockout/tagout will include:

  1. Recognizing hazardous energy sources and their magnitude on campus;
  2. Methods of energy control;
  3. Purpose of procedures;
  4. Safe application, usage and removal; and
  5. Awareness regarding not attempting to restart locked/tagged equipment.

Retraining will occur – as appropriate – with job changes, major changes in equipment or processes, when audits not deficiencies, and periodically versus “tail gate” sessions to raise staff awareness.

6.0 Outside Contractors

If outside personnel are working on campus near MSU lockout/tagout operations, or are working on equipment using their own process, the contractor and Facilities must inform each other of their respective processes.  If outside personnel and MSU personnel are working on the same job, it is a group lockout, and all must use their own locks.  The first person putting on a lock must still be the last to remove prior to re-energizing.  It is preferable to have an MSU lead in this situation.

7.0 Periodic Inspection

Periodic inspections, typically performed by SRM, should be done annually by an authorized employee other than those performing lockout/tagout.  This is to:

  1. Identify and correct deficiencies; and to
  2. Review authorized employee responsibilities (can be done via tail gate trainings

A record of inspection will include information on the form in Appendix C.

Appendix A: Lockout/Tagout Procedure

Appendix A:  Lockout/Tagout Procedure



Energy Types





Energy Isolation




Group Lockout         Yes ___________   No ____________
Lead Person
Shift Change             Yes ___________   No ____________
Person to Ensure Continuity

Authorized Persons








Steps for shutting down equipment




Methods to isolate energy





Methods to verify isolation





Approving Worker:



 Note: Radio notification of lockout/tagout and removal is the typical method of ‘notification.’

Form Date: 03.18


Appendix B: Periodic Inspection Elements

Periodic Review of the Lockout/Tagout Program (Minimum of every two years):


  1. Print this page;
  2. Complete review;
  3. Scan package and save to SRM Lockout/Tagout Program Folder;
  4. Share lessons learned with trades via Foremans’ Meeting.
                                                                Periodic Inspection Elements
Review Procedures

Review 2 procedures, minimum.

Attach reviewed procedures to review with any redline comments.

Review Training Records

Review training records to ensure relevant trades have LOTO training.

Note any gaps, refer to foreman for training, with notice to FS Trades Manager.

Job Observation

If feasible, review an in-process work order to ensure LOTO is done correctly.

Note any gaps, refer to FS Trades Manager and share at foreman’s meeting as appropriate.

Review Program

Check for regulatory changes or interpretations which would necessitate program changes, make necessary changes, update revision/review date of document and repost.

Alert EHS Committee that the review is complete, along with any lessons learned/changes.