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Course 710 - Energy Control Program (Lockout/Tagout)

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Release from Lockout/Tagout

Basic Steps for Release from Lockout/Tagout

OSHA's Lockout/Tagout standard includes requirements for releasing machines or equipment that have been locked out or tagged out prior to restoring energy to the equipment and using it.

Before lockout or tagout devices are removed and energy is restored, there are some procedures the authorized employee must follow:

  1. The work area must first be inspected to ensure that nonessential items (e.g., tools, spare parts) have been removed and that all of the machine or equipment components are operationally intact.
  2. The work area must then be checked to ensure all workers have been safety positioned or have cleared the area. In addition, all affected workers must be notified that the lockout or tagout devices have been removed before the equipment is started.
  3. Each lockout or tagout device must be removed from the energy-isolating device by the employee who applied the device.

Alternative Steps for Release from Lockout/Tagout

There are some things an employer must do if a worker who didn't apply the lockout/tagout device actually removes the device.

The person in charge must accomplish three actions listed below:

  1. Verify that the authorized employee who applied the device is not at the facility.
  2. Make all reasonable efforts to contact the authorized employee to inform him/her that his/her lockout or tagout device has been removed.
  3. Ensure that the authorized employee knows that the lockout device has been removed before he/she resumes work at the facility.

Testing Machinery or Equipment

In some circumstances, workers need to temporarily restore energy to a machine or piece of equipment during servicing or maintenance to test and /or reposition the machine or piece of equipment. Lockout or tagout devices may be removed temporarily in order to perform these tasks. However, it is important to know that you may not use an abbreviated procedure during the release - test - restore sequence. You must use full lockout/tagout procedures anytime you release from lockout/tagout or restore equipment after testing and positioning.

Temporary Removal Procedures

Below is the sequence of action that must occur in the temporary removal of the lockout/tagout devices:

  1. The machine or equipment must be cleared of tools and materials.
  2. Workers must be removed from the machine or equipment area.
  3. All lockout or tagout devices may then be removed.
  4. Authorized workers may then proceed to energize and test or position the equipment or machinery.
  5. Following testing or positioning, all systems must be de-energized and energy control measures reapplied to continue the servicing and /or maintenance.

Release after Long-Term Shutdown

You should have an additional energy-control procedure to protect workers if they must restart equipment after long-term shutdowns. Determine who will be responsible for monitoring any lockout and tagout devices that control energy to the equipment. Include steps in the procedure for protecting workers if they need to remove or change parts while the equipment is shut down. Do not restart equipment until you are absolutely certain that it is working properly.

Napo Films - Safe Maintenance - Lockout/Tagout


Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. Before lockout or tagout devices are removed, and energy restored, what must the authorized employee do first?

2. Prior to release from lockout/tagout, who must be notified that lockout or tagout devices have been removed?

3. Which of the following is not required before a worker (other than the one who applied the lockout/tagout device) can remove the device?

4. Lockout or tagout devices may be removed temporarily in order to perform equipment tests or repositioning.

5. For long-term shutdowns, the employer should also include procedures for protecting workers who perform which of the following tasks?

Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.