The Importance of Lock Out Tag Out Procedures

Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) is a practice or procedure used to safeguard employees from unexpected start up of machinery, rides and attractions, or the release of hazardous energy during service or maintenance. OSHA 1910.147 requires that only an authorized or qualified individual is to perform a Lock Out Tag Out  operation. These rules require that all energy sources be turned off and either locked out or tagged out while service or maintenance work is being performed.


When performing maintenance on a piece of equipment or a machine, it must be locked out before performing work. The technician needs to de-energize the power source by setting a switch of some sort to the off position. Once the power source is de-energized, the technician will need to put a safety device on the switch, plug, valve, etc. The technician will need to place a pad lock and a tag (signed and dated by technician) on the safety device. Once the maintenance is performed, the technician will need to work in reverse order (removing lockout device and powering the equipment back on) and finishing the maintenance by testing the equipment.


The LOTO procedure should capture all valuable aspects that a maintenance person will need to know to perform the work including:

  1. Equipment being de-energized
  2. Location of equipment
  3. Total Lockout Points
  4. Description of equipment
  5. Warnings
  6. Required Equipment
  7. Potential Hazards
  8. Pre-Lockout procedures
  9. Lockout Hazards
  10. Lockout Procedure
  11. Additional Information
  12. Ride Access Control (RAC) is a term used when an authorized personnel performs certain tasks before powering down an attraction/equipment.
    1. Announce over the PA system that the ride will be shut down.
    2. Lock gates.
    3. Verify no personnel is in proximity of attraction.
    4. Depress the E-stop.
  13. RAC is also performed after attraction/equipment has been serviced, also called “bringing the ride back to life.”


Why are lock out tag out procedures so important? Recently, there was an incident at Disneyland Paris where a worker was killed while working on the “it’s a small world” attraction.  This is a tragedy that should never happen if LOTO procedures are performed and followed correctly. The ride mechanicals should have been locked out long before this poor guy started working on the ride. It’s not enough to have the procedures spelled out. They must be followed by every single employee down to the exact details.