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MSHA's Safety Targets Program
Lock Out/Tag Out (Metal/Nonmetal)

The Do's and The Don'ts


The Do's
  • Follow the Lock Out/Tag Out procedure established by your company.
  • Personally de-energize, lock out and tag out all power circuits and electrical equipment before any work is done on such circuits and equipment.
  • Personally de-energize, lock out and tag out all start-up switches on mechanical equipment before any work is done on such equipment.
  • Make sure that each person working on an electrical circuit or system applies his or her own personal lock and tag.
  • Make sure that all persons, including you, are in a safe location before energizing any equipment.
  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment, including electrically rated gloves, hard hat, and eye protection.
  • Always maintain de-energizing devices in operable condition.
  • Always block machinery against motion even after it has been locked out and tagged out.
  • Always familiarize yourself with electrical circuits before you perform any electrical work. Ask for help or consult a wiring diagram/schematic.
  • Make sure that electrical work is performed only by a qualified electrician or persons trained to do electrical work under the direct supervision of a qualified electrician.
  • Make sure that all electrical circuits and circuit breakers are properly identified before troubleshooting or performing electrical work.
  • Check for proper grounding of power conductors where required.
  • Use properly rated non-contact voltage testers to ensure that circuits are de-energized.
  • Provide an audible or visible warning system to warn persons that a conveyor is starting.
  • Maintain electrical meters and testing instruments in good condition to verify that the circuit is de-energized before beginning work.
  • Communicate your intentions to work on an electrical circuit to ensure the circuit is, and remains, protected.
  • Provide safe access to all working areas.
  • Discharge all capacitors after the circuit has been locked out.
  • Relieve hydraulic and pneumatic pressure after equipment has been locked out and before performing maintenance.
  • Isolate all energy sources, including electric, hydraulic, mechanical and pneumatic, before commencing work.
The Dont's
  • Never defeat manual or automatic de-energizing devices.
  • Never remove guarding to perform maintenance or inspection until the machine has been properly de-energized and locked out.
  • Never perform maintenance or work on moving machines.
  • Never rely on someone else to de-energize or disconnect a circuit for you.
  • Never remove someone else's lock or tag.
  • Never perform work on an electrical circuit before testing to make sure it has been de-energized.
  • Never remove or disturb an electrical lock or tag.
  • Never assume that a circuit breaker will not be reset by someone else. Always lock it out.
  • Never loan or share your lock or key with someone else.


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