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Section C.3
University of South Carolina Safety Program Guide


Lockout/tagout programs are designed to prevent accidental startup of machines or equipment, and to prevent the release of stored energy during servicing or maintenance. Through the use of specific procedures that involve applying locks and/or tags as direct controls, equipment is isolated from energy sources and injuries to workers are prevented.

Scope and Application

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements for the Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) apply to all servicing and maintenance of equipment where accidental startup or unexpected release of energy can occur. Departments involved in these activities are responsible for the development and implementation of a lockout/tagout program. Lockout/Tagout requirements do not apply to work on cord and plug connected equipment if you can maintain personal control of the plug.

Program Description

Evaluation of Machines and Equipment

Machines and equipment should be evaluated to determine what types of lockout/tagout procedures are necessary. Assistance in this evaluation is available through Environmental Health and Safety (EHS).

Written Lockout/Tagout Program

A written program should be developed that establishes a general lockout/tagout procedure, including the sequence of events to be followed for all lockouts. The written program should explain where specific written lockout procedures are to be used, where tagout alone is permissible, and what types of locks and tags can be used. The written program should also provide details for completion of the required annual inspection of the lockout/tagout procedures.  A model written program is available from Environmental Health and Safety. Equipment specific written procedure identifying all isolation points and methods to be utilized during service or maintenance.

Lockout Hardware

Standardized lockout devices should be provided to maintenance and service workers. These devices must be able to withstand the environment in which they will be used. Lockout devices should be identifiable and cannot be used for any other purpose, such as locking tool boxes or personal lockers.


General training sessions are offered through EHS. Departments are responsible for providing specific training.

Roles and Responsibilities


  • Evaluate machines and equipment.
  • Develop and maintain machine-specific written procedures, where necessary.
  • Evaluate program and procedures at least annually.
  • Provide and maintain necessary protective materials and hardware.
  • Provide specific training to workers.


  • Ensure workers receive general and specific training.
  • Ensure workers use lockout/tagout procedures during servicing and maintenance.
  • Ensure lockout devices are not used for any other purpose.


  • Provide general training.
  • Provide assistance in evaluation of machines and equipment.
  • Provide periodic audits of the lockout/tagout program.


  • Attend training.
  • Follow appropriate lockout/tagout procedures.
  • Use lockout devices only for their intended purpose.

For More Information

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