You are now in the main content area

Lockout Tagout Program (LOTO)

Our students, faculty and staff work with and are surrounded by a variety of machines and equipment that involve potentially hazardous energy sources. Hazardous energy sources include: electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical and thermal sources. To ensure that these energy sources are safely isolated and controlled when doing maintenance activities, Lockout Tagout (LOTO) is required. 

When dealing with hazardous energy in machines and equipment, LOTO is a process that helps protect technicians and workers against unexpected start-up of hazardous energy while they are performing service or maintenance. Workers servicing or maintaining machines or equipment may be seriously injured or killed if hazardous energy is not properly controlled and an unexpected startup occurs. Such injuries may include electrocution, burns, crushing, cutting, lacerating, amputating, or fracturing body parts, and others. 

Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) requires that these energy sources are "isolated and rendered inoperative" before any repair procedure is started.

The following provides an overview of the Lockout Tagout Program and associated documentation. To access the full program, please refer to the  (google doc) Lockout Tagout Program (external link) .

This program provides a structured approach to the control of hazardous energy at TMU.  

What is Lockout Tagout?

Lockout is defined as the placement of a lockout device (e.g. a lock) on an energy-isolating device thereby ensuring that the machine, equipment or process being controlled cannot be operated until the lockout device is removed (CSA Z460).

Tagout also known as “Information Tag” is a non-conductive tag used in conjunction with the application of a lockout device to an energy-isolating device. It indicates the nature, purpose, and time the lockout was applied, as well as the identity of the authorized worker who performed the lockout (CSA Z460). 

Some examples of machinery or equipment that require LOTO:

  • Machines with moving parts - grinders, saws, steam valves
  • Fixing machines that are clogged, damaged, or missing parts - conveyor belts
  • Performing electrical work

Workers servicing or maintaining machines or equipment may be seriously injured or killed if hazardous energy is not properly controlled and unexpected startup occurs. Such injuries may include electrocution, burns, crushing, cutting, lacerating, amputating, or fracturing body parts, and others.

The lockout tagout and re-energizing procedures

Preparing for a shutdown

  • Identify all machinery, equipment, and/or processes to be shut down.
  • Identify authorized workers in the lockout
  • Gather applicable documentation (manuals, LOTO)
  • Identify hazardous energy sources needed to be locked out
  • Gather group lockout devices (e.g. multi hasp, lock box) if required

Notify affected workers and users

All affected workers, including on-site staff from user groups and contractors working in the area must be notified of the shutdown.

  • Communicate which equipment and processes will be affected
  • Reason for the lockout/tagout
  • Approximate duration of shutdown
  • Who is performing the lockout
  • Who to contact for more information and emergencies

Shut down the Machine, Equipment, or Process

Shut down the machine, equipment or process following manufacturer’s instructions or using equipment-specific procedures or placards. Verify that all moving parts (e.g. flywheels, spindles, gears) have come to a complete stop.

 Isolate the Machine, Equipment or Process 

Physically locate and isolate all energy controlling systems from unexpected release of hazardous energy (e.g. close all valves leading from energy supply lines, de-energize and disconnect circuit breakers and the main disconnect switch).

Remove Stored Energy

De-energize the system so that all stored or residual hazardous energy is removed, relieved, blocked, bled, restrained, or rendered safe by the authorized worker(s) involved with the work.

Lockout / Tagout

Each authorized worker must attach a lock and completed tags to lock out each energy source. This ensures the system cannot be inadvertently re-energized or re-started.If more than one worker is locking out the system, the group lockout procedure must be followed.


Check operating start buttons, activating controls and electrical supplies to ensure that the machinery, equipment or process has been de-energized. 

Finally, conduct a visual inspection and monitor the equipment or machine parts and components (e.g. check pressure and temperature gauges, valve opening etc.) for cycling/ movement indicating inadequate system isolation.


Before restoring energy, check that the machine, equipment, or process is operationally intact, that all necessary guards have been re-installed, and that all tools and non-essential items have been removed.

Clear the area and move to a safe location

Inspect the work area to check that all affected workers associated with the lockout who could be affected by re-energization have been cleared from the danger zone and are accounted for and advised to stay clear before energy is restored.

Remove lockout device(s) and tag(s)

Remove each lockout device and information tag from the energy isolating device(s). An authorized worker should only remove their own personal safety lock(s) and information tag(s).


Notify affected workers and users

Notify workers who could be affected by such action of the imminent restart (i.e. if it is to be re-energized soon after the locks have been removed); if the equipment is to sit idle for a time, workers could follow normal pre–start-up process.

Re-energize the machine, equipment, or process

Re-energize the equipment and have qualified personnel restart machinery or equipment. Return control of the equipment or system to its operators or facility staff.

When involved in situations listed below, please visit the  (google doc) Lockout Tagout Program (external link)  for detailed guidance and instructions.

  • General LOTO Procedure
  • Return to Service (Removal of Lockout) When Authorized Worker is Absent
  • Maintenance Carryover
  • Group Lockout Procedure
  • Testing and Troubleshooting

Key resources

The  (google doc) Lockout Tagout Program (external link)  is available to all TMU students, faculty and staff. It provides more detailed information on definitions, roles and responsibilities, program elements and applicable documentation on the management of LOTO at the university. 


TMU has created a program outlining the general LOTO procedure, and required documentation. This program is intended to comply with the following regulations and standards:


Anyone who is required to perform or support work in LOTO must receive appropriate training to be able to safely perform their assigned duties such as authorized workers. The training should include: 

  • General LOTO training: 
    • Recognition and identification of hazardous energy sources
    • Legislation and standards
    • Types of lockout devices 
    • Industry best practices
    • Basic lockout procedure
    • Simple group lockout procedure
  • TMU’s  (google doc) Lockout Tagout Program (external link) 
  • Equipment-specific LOTO procedure (to be provided by supervisor)

Training for Authorized Workers should be refreshed every three years. Training record to be maintained by the employee’s department.

Contact us to schedule training

To schedule a training session or have any questions related to the Lockout Tagout Program, please contact EHS at