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6 Most Common Lockout Tagout Mistakes Employees Make

dateFebruary 09, 2021

In the intricate tapestry of industrial operations, where sophisticated machinery and powerful tools come into play, ensuring workplace safety is paramount. The Lockout Tagout (LOTO) system stands as a beacon in this realm, providing measures to prevent accidental machine start-ups and unexpected releases of energy. Unfortunately, despite its significance, certain oversights and errors frequently permeate LOTO procedures. Let's dive into six Lockout Tagout mistakes to gain insight and bolster our commitment to safety.

Mistake 1: Not using lockout for a job that takes only a few minutes

Many a time workers make this mistake of ignoring the importance of lockout. Even if the work demands only a few minutes for its completion, do not just shut down the equipment controls and start working as it can be dangerous. Make sure, you lockout the energy source before performing service and maintenance.

Mistake 2: Ignorance towards use of multiple Lockout procedure when more than one employee is working

A worker pulls the switch and correctly locks it out. The other workers make mistake of not applying Lockout and starts the maintenance work. Make sure that multiple lockout procedures are always followed when more than one person is servicing the equipment.

Mistake 3: Leaving the keys in the lock while performing Lockout

A worker performing lockout leaves his key in the lock, thinking that he might lose the key and starts performing service and maintenance task. This is a big mistake! Anyone could come along and remove the lock, not realizing that someone’s life can be in danger.

Mistake 4: Asking some other employee to shut off the machine and lock our devices

When in hurry, we often make mistake of asking some other worker to shut off the machine and lock our devices. This can lead to accidents. Do not let employees depend on the other person! Each worker must perform the shutoff and lockout himself or herself.

Mistake 5: Performing Maintenance by just locking out control circuit, and not verifying the lock of main disconnect or switch

An employee locks out the control circuit only and thinks that it is good enough, without verifying that the main disconnect and switch is locked or not. Such carelessness can lead to big accidents.

Always make sure that the main energy source is disconnected before performing maintenance task, as the machine can start inadvertently.

Mistake 6: Not following the written MSP Procedures for lockout

We often make mistake of not following the written MSP procedures for lockout. Make sure any worker performing lockout tagout is properly trained, evaluated, and follow written lockout procedures. You simply can’t afford mistakes with lockout tagout as it can claim your as well as your co-workers’ lives.

Every employee is burdened with targets and work commitments to be accomplished. With this busy schedule, we tend to make mistakes a lot of times. But LOTO is vital for the safety of the employees, and therefore cannot be ignored at any cost.

Our mistakes can be hazardous and can lead to serious accidents and incidences. One must always keep in mind that our lives are precious and can affect both ourselves and our loved ones.

Mistakes can be deadly! Always follow Lockout Tagout!

E-Square Compliance and Education Division
About the Author

E-Square Compliance and Education Division

A team of safety professionals and educators united to enhance workplace safety with essential Lockout Tagout knowledge. We offer expertise to foster safety compliance and effective LOTO protocols across industries.

E-Square Blog: Expert Analysis and Best Practices for Isolation Safety

The E-Square blog features advice, information and support on everything related to Lockout Tagout, including best practices, industry news, latest innovations and regulatory updates.


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