Saturday, 15 February 2014


Warning signs

Failure to neutralize and lock-out all energy sources prior to starting a job is a primary cause of industrial injuries and fatalities. This booklet will help you identify situations in which the accidental starting or unexpected movement of parts can cause serious injury and will show you how you can prevent these unnecessary accidents.

Each employee is responsible for their own safety and for the safety of fellow workers. These procedures are minimum performance standards.

Any task or process undertaken at your company is to be completed by a knowledgeable and competent individual who has been trained and acquainted with the equipment and operations of that task or process.

There is no justification whatsoever for the failure of any employee to properly lock-out equipment to prevent accidental start-up or unexpected mechanical movement of that same equipment.

Lock-outs are required by the Ontario Ministry of Labor under the following sections of the Ontario Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations:

Section 42(1) – Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the power supply to electrical installations, equipment or power lines shall be disconnected and locked out of service prior to any work being done on or in proximity to the installations, equipment or power lines.

Section 68 – Subject to Section 70, a confined space shall be entered only where (b) mechanical equipment in the confined space is,
a) disconnected from its power source; and
(b) locked out

Section 75 – A part of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing shall be cleaned, oiled, adjusted, repaired or have maintenance work performed on it only when
(a) motion that may endanger a worker has been stopped; and
(b) any part that has been stopped and that may subsequently move and endanger a worker has been blocked to prevent its movement.

Section 76 – Where the starting of a machine, transmission machinery, device or thing may endanger the safety of a worker,
(a) control switches or other control mechanisms shall be locked out; and
(b) other effective precautions necessary to prevent such starting shall be taken.

A) The purpose of these procedures are to establish:
(a) the concept of lock-out;
(b) the identification of lock-out situations; and step by step precautions

B) During any inspections, maintenance, servicing, alterations or adjustments where starting of a machine, transmission, machinery, device or thing may endanger the safety of a worker:
(a) all power disconnect switches or other control mechanisms shall be locked out and;
(b) Other effective precautions necessary to prevent such starting shall be taken to achieve a zero energy state.

Disconnection Switch – means a pull type switch or circuit breaker which physically opens to neutralize electrical potential.

Lock-out – means to physically neutralize by means of a mechanical device, i.e. lock-out bar, safety lock and tag, all sources of energy or power in a piece of equipment with a view to achieving a zero energy state. If necessary pins, blocks, chains, etc. must be used to ensure all energy or power is neutralized. This must be done prior to starting work.

NOTE: the removal of a fuse does not constitute a lock-out.

Machine – includes transmission machinery, device or thing. This includes steam boiler vessels, hydraulic or air driven machinery, pipe lines, etc. which must be isolated to safely carry out the work.


After the machinery has stopped, the qualified person places the disconnect switch handle(s) or control device(s) in the OFF position and locks out the control device(s) with their lock-out bar and safety lock. Be sure all power sources are to a zero energy state. The qualified person applying the lock will then attach a warning tag to the safety lock.

Before starting to work on a piece of equipment, a test must be made to ensure all potential sources of power are in fact properly de-energized and locked out. After locking out be sure to:
(a)Test the disconnect switch – be sure it cannot be moved to the `ON` position.
(b)Test all points of operation switches.
(c)Test all valves and be sure they are properly shut off and locked in the `OFF` position.

Safety locks are to be issued to the qualified person with one key per lock. This key shall be capable of opening only the lock assigned to that qualified person. The issuing Supervisor shall be responsible for maintaining a record of each safety lock for identification and training record purposes.

The safety lock will be placed on, and removed only, by the qualified person doing the work. This responsibility must not be delegated.

Keep control of your safety lock and key. Use them properly. They could save your life.


A danger tag shall be attached to the disconnect point at the same time the lock-out bar and safety lock are applied.

The following information must be given on the tag:
  1. Signature and clock number of qualified person attaching tag.
  2. Time and date lock applied.
  3. Reason for lockout.
  4. Equipment being worked on.

The danger tag shall be used only to supplement the safety lock and to identify the purpose of the lock-out.


Attachment of the danger tag is by a non-conductive string or band. Wire shall not be used for this purpose.

If operations call for multiple locations to be locked out additional safety locks, keys, tags, and lock-out bars must be obtained from the person in charge.


When more than one qualified person is engaged on the same job, a multiple lock-out bar(s) must be used so that each person can apply their safety lock and tag thereto. Each person must attach their own lock to the multiple lock-out bar so that controls cannot be operated until all the locks have been removed. More than one lock-out bar can be accommodated by placing another lock-out bar in the last hole of the previous bar.

The Supervisor or Group leader is responsible for overall protection, lock-out and control process, e.g. crew checklist – personnel count, etc.

During multiple lock-out, the qualified person who applies the first lock-out bar and safety lock shall ensure that the equipment has reached a state of zero energy.

Where there are multiple power entry points separate lock-out bars, safety locks, tags and tests must be applied at each point.


In the case of additional power sources that need to be locked out such as air, hydraulic, steam or gas, the built up pressure must be bled off before the work is started. Valves must be locked and tagged out in the off position. Where valves cannot be locked the line shall be blanked. Any tension or pressure such as springs or a mechanism must be released. Where applicable, additional preventative measures such as safety locks or chains must be used to prevent injury due to movement or dropping of equipment parts or materials. Remember we must achieve a state of zero energy. The above procedures are not sufficient where work is to be done in confined spaces such as tanks, bins or other areas designated as confined spaces. In these instances, the supply lines must be blanked off and valves must never be depended on. Agitators, pumps and rotating equipment must be locked out and the person in the confined space should keep the key(s).
Stored electrical energy (i.e. capacitors) must be grounded and brought to a zero energy state.


Where there is need to test or re-position the equipment, which is locked out, consideration should be given to the following:
  1. Clear all personnel to safety.
  2. Clear away all tools and material from the test equipment.
  3. Each worker removes their lock-out bar and safety lock following the established procedures and then the equipment is re-energized by the qualified person.
  4. Proceed with test of equipment.
  5. If additional work is required, the qualified person will re-establish the lock-out procedure, neutralize all energy sources, purge all systems if necessary, and test to ensure that all power sources are neutralized prior to continuing work.


When work on equipment that has been locked out must be continued on the following shift, each employee who has locked out shall remove their lock-out bars, safety lock(s) and tag(s) with the exception of the last qualified person. The last qualified person shall contact the person in charge and advise him/her of the circumstances and witness the locking and tagging by the person in charge taking over the job.

The person in charge will lock-out the control device(s) during the shift changes to allow workers going off shift to remove their lock-out bars, safety locks and tags.
If in the opinion of the person in charge, the equipment should remain locked out between shifts or for longer periods in order to prevent unauthorized start-up, it will be the responsibility of the person in charge to attach an identified supervisory lock-out bar, safety lock and tag.

NOTE: At no time will the equipment be left unlocked until all work has been completed.

Before releasing equipment:
  1. The qualified person or the person in charge shall ensure that all work is complete and that all people tools and material are cleared from the area – remove any blocks or pins.
  2. Replace all machine guards and safety devices.
  3. Inform the operator and the person in charge that the equipment is ready to return to service.
  4. Ensure all pre-start procedures are adhered to.
  5. Remove each lock-out bar, safety lock and tag using correct removal sequence.
  6. Run the equipment to test that everything is in proper working order.

  1. Once the machine to be locked out is designated, the operator should be alerted. The person in charge should ensure this is done.
  2. Turn off the point-of-operation switch.
  3. Turn off the main disconnect switch of the particular machine.
  4. WARNING: Great care must be taken to ensure that there is no current flowing past the switches. Opening a disconnect switch under load may cause an explosion.
  5. Secure a lock-out bar and your padlock on the disconnect switch, retain the key. Each person working on the machine must attach their own padlock and tag on the disconnect switch.
  6. Test the disconnect switch to make sure that it cannot be moved to the “ON” position.
  7. Test the point-of-operation switch to make sure that the power is really off. Ensure equipment is in a zero energy state.
  8. Where there is more than one point-of-power entry, an appropriate separate lock-out bar and safety lock and tag must be applied at each point.
  9. When the work is finished, tell the operator and person in charge before the power is turned on.
  10. Remove the lock out bar and safety lock and tag from the disconnect switch prior to switching on the disconnect.

Common Causes of Lock-out Related Accidents
  1. Did not lock-out due to pressure to keep up production.
  2. Did not realize power was on.
  3. Co-worker did not know equipment was being serviced.
  4. Did not know that residual energy was present.
  5. Failed to test effectiveness of lock-out or failed to shut off control before performing task.
  6. Too far to walk to affix lock-out or to shut off equipment.
  7. Used tag but not lock.
  8. Asking others to do the locking out.
  9. Pulled fuses instead of locking out.
  10. Locked-out only one source of power where multiple power is used, such as electricity, air, steam and hydraulic.
  11. Did not identify all switches, valves and disconnects to the equipment.
  12. Assumed equipment was inoperable.
  13. Thought the job was too small to merit locking out.

Lock-out Policy
It is the policy of Scaffold Inc. that we, as a company, and all of our employees will abide by the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and will work in a manner such that no worker will be placed in jeopardy while performing their duties.

Workers are required to ensure that equipment is properly and effectively locked-out, without exception.

Supervisors are required to “ensure that a worker works in the manner and with the protective devices measures and procedures prescribed by this Act and the Regulations” Sec. 27(1)a O.H.S.A.

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