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The focus of this topic is to discuss the most important part of the energy isolation program – the physical implementation of Lockout / Tagout devices and the vast number of hardware choices available? How does one choose the correct device if sufficient information or knowledge is not available on hand?

Companies implementing the LOTO program for the first time find it difficult to select the correct devices and padlocks without professional help. We have been witness to many companies ordering individual products and Loto Kits from catalogs based on the assumption that they are purchasing a “One-Fits-All” solution. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Universal Type Device” is a typical terminology used by some manufacturers to portray a device which fits on a wide range of energy sources – as in the case of “Universal” circuit breaker lockout device or “Universal” valve lockout device. This beguiling term psychologically induces the end user to believe in the “One-Fits-All” solution until the myth is shattered when the LOTO device is found unsuitable for that particular energy source.

LOTO Safety disseminates knowledge by providing free on-site assessments in the UAE coupled with training personnel on the correct application and compatibility of LOTO devices for different energy sources – all without any pecuniary benefit as well as a No obligation to buy policy. Our mission is to educate and inform without pressurizing the customer to purchase their LOTO hardware from us.


Customers out of UAE can register on our website and access our library of LOTO installation images for different types of energy sources be it electrical or mechanical. We are confident this would address 70 – 90% of their requirements.

Free online advice is also available from us – simply mail or WhatsApp the images of the energy sources and we will identify and inform the most suitable devices.

The lesson we took away over the past decade is that it isn’t necessary to sell more, rather it’s imperative to view oneself as an extension of our customer. Our continued success is based on this founding pillar.

* The author of this blog is Qaid Zohar – Director at LOTO Safety, Dubai. This blog is
written to educate interested parties on Lockout Tagout products.
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When maintenance or servicing work is being performed by more than one Authorized Employee, a Primary Authorized Employee must be assigned responsibility for controlling all energy isolating devices for the machine, equipment or process.

  • Before beginning work, the Primary Authorized Employee will implement a specifically written energy control procedure developed for the particular energy source/s. He then isolates single or multiple energy sources by applying padlocks and verifies the machine, equipment or process has been isolated and Locked Out. The Primary Authorized Employee secures the key/s of the locks in the Group Lock box and applies his personal lock to the box.
  • Other Authorized Employees review the adequacy of the isolation and apply their own locks to the Group Lock box.
  • Authorized Employees perform work.
  • Upon completion of work, each Authorized Employee removes their own personal lock(s) from the Group Lock box.
  • The Primary Authorized Employee is the last one to remove his lock from the group lock box to access the keys for unlocking the energy sources. This can only be done after the Primary Authorized Employee has assessed the area and is satisfied it is safe to do so.
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LOTO PROGRAM Supervisor’s Responsibilities

  • Complete equipment specific LOTO Procedures.
  • Conduct annual & periodic inspections.
  • Keep a list of authorized employees.
  • Issue LOTO devices to employees.
  • Ensure all affected employees are properly trained on LOTO procedures.
  • Enforce compliance with LOTO program.
  • Provide employees with copies of the LOTO
  • Program upon request.

  • Recognizes hazardous energy.
  • Types and magnitude of energy in the workplace.
  • Means to isolate those types of energy.
  • Repair or service equipment as needed.
  • Ensure that all energy sources are locked out.
  • Test equipment to verify residual energy is dissipated.
  • Place a “Danger-Do Not Operate” tag on equipment.
  • Obtain assistance when necessary.
  • Remove locks and/or tags following LOTO.
  • Coordinate multi-shift repair.

Affected Employees Responsibilities

  • Employees who operate equipment.
  • Work around.
  • Occasionally adjust equipment that is subject to LOTO.
  • Notify maintenance, etc., when equipment needs repair.
  • Leave all LOTO devices in place.
  • Verify equipment is safe to operate following LOTO.
  • Follow all safety rules while operating the equipment.

  • Any employee not using LOTO program.
  • Employees tampering with the LOTO lock and Tag.
  • Removing the LOTO program without Authorization.
  • Must be brought to the notice of Plant Manager, EHS Manager and HR.
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What is “LOTO”?
LOTO is the acronym for LOCKOUT / TAGOUT.

OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) standard 29 CFR 1910.147 defines the system and regulations for isolating and locking various Hazardous Energy sources to prevent accidental or un-authorized startup of machinery and equipment during Servicing*, Maintenance* and Commissioning.

Lockout / Tagout involves the use of Physical Locks and restraining devices commonly known as LOTO devices to immobilize and restrain energy sources from being operated by anyone other than the person who has physically locked the energy source.

*(Service or maintenance includes erecting, installing, constructing, repairing, adjusting, inspecting, un-jamming, setting up, trouble-shooting, testing, cleaning, and dismantling machines, equipment or processes).


Your employer has a duty to ensure you are properly equipped with the right tools and training to work safely without exposing yourself to hazards from unsecured equipment.

Each worker is required to have the knowledge and skills required for the safe application, usage and removal of the energy control devices.

Electrical, Mechanical, Hydraulic & Pneumatic comprise some of the most common energy sources. Steam, Gravity, Potential, Chemical and Radiation are other energy sources existing independently or as a result of reactions between a combination of different media or energy sources.

Uncontrolled energy causing the sudden and unexpected movement of a machine or any part of a machine can kill or injure you. Each year workers are killed, body parts are crushed, and others lose fingers, hands, arms. For example, in just two years in California (2005 and 2006) there were 9 fatalities and 113 amputations.

Why do accidents happen?
Some common reasons include:

  • All hazardous energy sources were not de-energized and controlled.
  • Equipment was not locked out or tagged out after powering off.
  • Did not actually think through the steps of the energy control before starting work.
  • Inadequate or no training.
  • Took shortcuts.

It is important to remember that just turning off a switch is not the same as lockout because there is still energy in the switch. If there is a short at the switch or the machine is accidentally turned on, it will energize and cause it to run.

Remember that many types of hazardous energy sources such as springs, or air, oil, steam or water pressure can cause sudden and unexpected movement of machines and hurt or kill you. To work safety, all hazardous energy sources must be controlled so that no machine or machine part can move.

Sometimes, machines and equipment must be serviced with the power on. If so, your employer must minimize the hazards to you by providing extension tools (e.g., extended swabs, brushes, scrapers) or other methods to protect you from injury. Be sure you get trained on how to use these tools or methods and always use them properly.