5 Steps to Release (Removal) Lockout Tagout



October 1, 2019


Before we re-energize or restore the machinery to normal production operation after maintenance, it is important to follow OSHA’S Lockout Tagout procedures for the removal of LOTO to ensure the safety of the employees & the equipments.

5 Simple Steps to release / removal of Lockout and Tagout:

1. Remove Tools and Replace Guards:

To make sure that the machine is now in a condition to be safely re-energized, the work area is inspected after the maintenance task is complete. This is done to ensure that all the left- behind tools, parts, materials and other non-essential items have been removed, and that the equipment is operationally intact.


2. Check for Employees:

It is the duty of the supervisor to check the work area and ensure that the employees are safely positioned. He must ask the maintenance workers if they are done, and then visually inspect the work area.


3. Notify the Affected Employees:

It is again the duty of the supervisor to ensure that the affected employees are notified about Lockout Tagout devices removal and that the equipment is ready to be re-energized.


4. Remove Lockout Tagout Devices:

The Lockout Tagout devices are finally removed from an energy isolating device, only by the worker who applied it. The removal of employees lock without his knowledge can be dangerous, as a general rule, the Lockout Tagout device should be removed by the employee himself/herself.


5. Restore Energy:

Once the removal of Lockout Tagout Devices is done, the machine will be re-energized and restored to normal production operation.



Although, there is an exception to the general rule of removal of Lockout Tagout devices, by the employee who applied it - (e)(3) of OSHA’s Lockout Tagout standard permits the removal of employees Lockout Tagout device by another employee, when the employer can demonstrate a need to do so, during emergency.

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