NIOSH Releases Lockout/Tagout Tip Sheet

Workers are at risk of severe injury and death during machine maintenance and servicing if proper lockout/tagout procedures are not followed.

NIOSH has released a document highlighting best practices for employers, workers, and manufacturers to follow during machine maintenance.

Workers are at risk of severe injury and death during machine maintenance and servicing if proper lockout/tagout procedures are not followed. NIOSH recommends developing and implementing a hazardous energy control program including lockout/tagout procedures and worker training to prevent such incidents.

Lockout/tagout procedures apply in the following circumstances:

  • Workers are servicing and main¬taining equipment and unexpect¬ed startup of the machine or re¬lease of stored energy could occur.
  • When, during normal production, workers must remove or bypass a guard or safety device.
  • When, during normal production, workers place any part of their body into the danger zone or near the machine’s point of operation.
  • During all set up activities.

NIOSH recommends that employers comply with the OSHA regulations outlined in 29 CFR* 1910.147, the control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout). Results of NIOSH fatality investigations indicate that the fol¬lowing steps are particularly important:

  • Develop and implement a written hazardous ener¬gy control program, including lockout/tagout proce¬dures, employee training, and inspections before any maintenance or service work is done.
  • Be sure that workers have a clear understanding of when hazardous energy control procedures apply and training on how to properly apply the procedures.
  • Ensure that procedures on lockout/tagout are devel¬oped that are specific to each machine.
  • Provide training to production workers in addition to maintenance workers in methods of energy isolation and control.


  • Follow the regulations contained in your employer’s hazardous energy control program.
  • Complete all employer-provided training on hazard¬ous energy control procedures.
  • Before beginning machine adjustment, maintenance, or servicing work, de-energize all sources of hazardous energy:
    • Disconnect or shut down engines or motors.
    • De-energize electrical circuits.
    • Block fluid (gas or liquid) flow in hydraulic or pneumatic systems.
    • Block machine parts against motion.


  • Consider designing equipment that requires fewer and more easily accessible disconnect points to facilitate the use of safe lockout/tagout procedures for maintenance and repair.

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