Is lockout/tagout required by OSHA?

It is well-known that the lockout/tagout system is will help to improve safety in the workplace. According to the latest statistics, using lockout/tagout has saved hundreds of lives and prevented thousands of injuries since it has been widely used in manufacturing and other industries. While the fact that it is so effective should be reason enough to use it, some companies only implement safety improvements if it is required of them. This is why many people ask if LOTO is required by OSHA.

OSHA Demands lockout/tagout Compliance

The simple answer is yes. OSHA does require that companies use the lockout/tagout system in many different situations. It is identified in a variety of different places within the OSHA regulations, but in general a company should know that they have to use it whenever control of hazardous energy is a priority. To start with, one could look at the OSHA 1910.147 section to read about when it is needed in general industry.

Strictly Enforced

OSHA takes compliance with this regulation very seriously. In fact, lockout/tagout violations were the 5th most commonly cited in 2018. They performed over 1400 inspections, and issued over 2500 citations in that year, costing companies over $13 million in proposed penalties. Even if improved safety isn’t incentive enough for some companies, the threat of these very serious citations should certainly motivate them to compliance.

Help with lockout/tagout

OSHA is committed to workplace safety, and that goes well beyond simply issuing citations and fines. The agency looks to help businesses throughout the United States to learn about and properly implement lockout/tagout strategies as well as many other safety policies. They offer an interactive training program online that will walk companies through exactly what they need to start following lockout/tagout procedures properly. This will help to improve safety as well as avoid any potential penalties from being out of compliance. Beyond that, they also offer a variety of case studies, Q&A pages, and other information to help show why it is so important for facilities to use lockout/tagout in all areas where it will be beneficial.


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