When machines and equipment are in need of repair, servicing, or maintenance, it is necessary to lock out the equipment to prevent unexpected accidents. Just shutting down or disconnecting equipment is not enough.
OSHA regulations require that all machines and equipment be locked out before any changes are made to the machine's operating status. Procedures, devices, and personnel must be set in place to prevent the serious injury or death that could occur when someone thinks machines and equipment is safely off. To ensure machines and equipment remain operable means establishing a program consisting of energy control procedures, employee training, and periodic inspections as described in the OSHA standard. The standard also identifies products used for achieving these goals, such as lockout and tag out devices.
Failure to comply with lockout/tagout rules makes OSHA's list of the top 10 safety violations in the workplace every year.