This program describes the safe work practices and procedures to help protect CSUN employees from the release of hazardous energy while they are cleaning, repairing, servicing or adjusting equipment or machines.

I.  Purpose/Scope

    • Purpose: The purpose of Lockout /Tagout is to ensure that all employees work safely with potential energy sources by establishing minimum energy control (Lockout / Tagout) requirements.
    • Scope: This program applies to all California State University, Northridge employees engaged in any cleaning, repairing, servicing, or adjusting of equipment or machines that have the potential to store residual energy. 
II.  Definitions
    • Activation/Energization: To set machinery into motion by starting, switching, pushing, moving, or otherwise engaging power sources for such equipment.  To provide a flow of electricity to complete a circuit that is the main power source for the machinery/equipment.
    • Affected Employee: An employee whose job requires the operation or use of machines and equipment under the control of a lockout/tagout.
    • Authorized Employee: An employee who has been trained and approved to use lockout/tagout procedures.
    • Lockout Lock: A laminated steel padlock and lockout lock label.
      • The lockout lock label shall contain the Employee’s name.
      • The locks shall be uniquely keyed.  Multiple lockout locks that are keyed and numbered alike may be assigned to an employee, but the key shall be unique and assigned to that ONE (1) specific authorized employee only.
      • Each lockout lock shall have only one (1) key.  This key will be issued to the authorized employee.
    • Tagout:  The practice of using tags in conjunction with locks to increase visibility and awareness that equipment is not to be energized or activated until such devices are removed. Tags shall be attached by non-reusable, hand-attachable, self-locking, and non-releasable cable with a minimum unlocking strength of no less than 50 pounds. (An example is a nylon cable tie lock.)
    • Multiple lock adapters:  A device that allows more than one lockout lock to be applied to the same energy isolation source.  Environmental Health and Safety shall approve ALL multiple lock adapters.
    • Temporary Lockout Locks: Temporary lockout locks shall meet all the requirements of section 3.  Temporary locks shall be maintained by the department and issued to authorized employees when they have a need for additional locks to secure all sources of energy. 

III.  Exemptions/Exclusions

Work on cord and plug connected electric equipment for which exposure to the hazards of unexpected energization or start-up of the equipment is controlled by the unplugging of the equipment from the energy source and by the plug being under the exclusive control of the employee performing the servicing or maintenance. 

IV.  Responsibilities

    • Employee:
      • Never remove someone else’s lock or tag
      • Following procedure(s) and notifying management of any unsafe conditions.
    • Environmental Health & Safety:
      • Program development and maintenance
      • Review and certification of periodic inspections conducted by individual departments.
    • Department:
      • Annual Periodic Inspections of the lockout / tagout procedures
      • Identification and labeling of lockout devices on equipment or processes.

V.  Training

    • Employees whose normal job duties are or may be in an area where energy control (lockout / tagout) procedures are in place shall receive a level of training appropriate for their job function(s).  Training levels range from the recognition of hazardous energy sources to general awareness.
    • Employee will receive initial training and additional training when their job changes, equipment changes or modifications occur, or when the energy control procedures change.
    • Training shall be documented, and training records retained by the department. 

VII.  Procedures

    • Lockout Procedures:
      • Identify energy isolating devices such as valves, switches, blocking, etc. specific to the equipment being locked out.
      • Verify that isolating the equipment will not create a hazard on other equipment or processes.  Example: Isolating a remote fan motor on a fume hood system may create a hazard at the fume hood(s).
      • Notify affected persons that servicing, or maintenance is required, and the equipment will be shut down and locked out.
      • If the equipment is operating, shut it down by normal stopping procedures.
      • Operate the switch, valve, or other energy isolating devices so that the energy source(s) (electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and other) is disconnected or isolated from the equipment. Stored energy, such as that in capacitors, springs, elevated machine members, rotating fly wheels, hydraulic systems, and air, gas, steam or water pressure, must also be dissipated or restrained by methods such as grounding, repositioning, blocking, or bleeding down.
      • Lockout energy isolating device(s) with an assigned lockout lock(s) and tag.
      • Each person who is working on the equipment must put a lock on the multiple lockout devices.
      • Ensure the equipment has been isolated from energy sources by first checking that no personnel are exposed and then by operating the normal equipment controls to verify the equipment will not operate. Caution: Return operating controls to the neutral or off position after the test.
      • The equipment is now locked out.
    • Restoring Equipment to Service Procedures:
      • Check the machine or equipment and the immediate area around the machine to ensure that nonessential items have been removed and that the machine or equipment components are operationally intact.
      • Check the work area to ensure that all employees have been safely positioned or removed from the area.
      • Verify that the controls are in neutral.
      • Remove the lockout devices and reenergize the machine or equipment. Note: The removal of some forms of blocking may require re-energization of the machine before safe removal.
      • Notify affected employees that the servicing or maintenance is completed, and the machine or equipment is ready for use.
    • Group Lockout/Tagout:
      • When service, maintenance or other activities are performed by multiple persons they shall utilize procedures that provide a level of protection equivalent to individual lockout / tagout.
      • A single authorized employee, typically a lead employee or supervisor, shall be responsible for the employees working under a group lockout / tagout.
      • Each employee, including the employee referenced in section II shall apply their individual lock to a group lockout / tagout device and follow the procedures in section VII.

VIII.  Guidelines/Rules

    • Lockout & Tagout Devices:
      • Lockout and tagout devices shall be standardized in at least one of the following criteria: Laminated steel padlocks with protective bumpers.
      • Lockout devices and tagout devices shall be singularly identified, shall be the only devices(s) used for controlling energy, and shall not be used for other purposes.
      • Lockout devices and tagout devices shall indicate the identity of the employee applying the device(s).
    • Contractors:
      • Whenever outside personnel (contractors) are engaged in activities requiring lockout / tagout the Department authorizing the outside personnel and the outside employer shall inform each other of their respective lockout / tagout procedures.
      • Outside personnel (contractors) are responsible for using their own lockout / tagout program when conducting work on CSUN processes or equipment.
    • Temporary Lockout Locks:
      • Defined as: lockout locks maintained by the department for issue to authorized employees on a temporary or intermittent basis.  The Department shall maintain a sign out log that tracks all temporary locks.  Temporary locks shall be returned to the Department at the end of each shift or the authorized employee’s completion of the job.
      • Temporary locks shall meet the requirements of section VIII. 

IX.  References

X.  Revision Record






Original Program

October 2001


New format, revised content

December 2003


Update links

May 2009


Format change and review

January 2014



December 2018


Update Links

November 2022