Electrical Lockout Policy


Policy Statement

The college is committed to ensuring that work performed by Seneca employees or contractors adheres to all relevant safety laws and regulations, in order to protect the health and safety of the college community.

College employees or contractors who perform maintenance or service on energized equipment will adhere to the college's procedure for electrical lockout in order to prevent injury from the unexpected energizing, start-up or release of stored energy.

Administrative requirements

The College's Health and Safety Office is responsible for the health and safety of college staff, students and visitors.

All Administrators are responsible for ensuring that the operations in their area(s) of responsibility comply with the College's Electrical Lockout Policy and Procedures and all other relevant safety laws and regulations.

All Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that designated staff in their area(s) of responsibility receive the necessary Electrical Lockout training.


This procedure is to be utilized each time a designated worker may come into contact with energized equipment. Whenever such work is performed, the worker shall isolate and make inoperative (lockout) all affected equipment.


Supervisor Responsibilities

The Supervisor shall:

  • Develop specific procedures for controlling hazardous energy for each piece of equipment that falls under this procedure.
  • Identify Seneca employees requiring training, including re-training.
  • Communicate procedures to affected workers or contractors and ensure compliance.
  • Monitor the testing of equipment to ensure the effectiveness of the energy controlling measures.
  • Provide and maintain any required material ie) locks, tags, wedges, etc. in order to isolate equipment from energy sources.
  • Ensure lockout documentation is completed and filed for future reference by officials.
  • Take all reasonable precautions necessary to protect the safety of workers as required under the terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act,
  • Ontario Electrical Code and related regulations.

Worker Responsibilities

The Worker shall:

  • Evaluate hazards of the work to be performed and confirm a zero state of energy has been achieved. Eliminate the possibility of any release of stored energy.
  • Ensure the safety of themselves and others by adhering to the lockout procedures.
  • Advise their Supervisor of any alterations or changes that would require the addition/change of a lockout device.
  • Advise Supervisor if lockout device(s) is not available or will not function.
  • Participate in mandatory lockout training.Contract employees are not required to attend Seneca training, but are required to adhere to Seneca policies and procedures at all times.
  • Employees shall not remove, interfere or disturb any locks or tags that are not their own.
  • Report to the Supervisor any hazards that he/she becomes aware of.
  • Work in compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Ontario Electrical Code and related regulations.


All Seneca employees performing maintenance or servicing equipment are required to participate in lockout training. Supervisors of these employees are also required to attend. The training program will include the following:

  • Hazard recognition of energy sources
  • Methods of energy isolation and control
  • Seneca Lockout policy
  • Lockout and tagging procedures
  • Lockout removal procedures


Lockout Procedure

The procedures for lockout may vary slightly depending on the piece of equipment and it's location, but the basic principals will remain. The procedures are to be used for any work involving electrical, pneumatic, gravitational, hydraulic or stored energy ie: springs, pressurized fuel gases, batteries, etc.

  1. Review work to be performed to identify equipment requiring lockout with all affected individuals and/or departments to determine best method of control. This requires knowledge of the system.
  2. If the machine or equipment is operating, shut it down using normal stopping procedures. This may require the participation of the operator.
  3. Isolate the equipment from its main power source.
  4. Lockout and tag the device with assigned lock and tags.
  5. Relieve any additional stored or residual energy from equipment to ensure zero state of energy exists.
  6. Verify that all steps above have been followed.
  7. Prior to work being performed, ensure isolation or de-energizing has been achieved by testing with proven testing equipment. Use test alive, test dead, test alive method.

Removal of Lockout Device

Prior to the removal of lockout devices and energy being restored, the following steps are to be followed:

  1. Once service has been completed, check the area around the equipment to ensure the area is clear of tools and that guards are re-installed. Ensure no one will be exposed to hazard during start-up.
  2. Lockout device is removed. 
    Note:Removal is performed by individual who attached device only. This function cannot be delegated.
  3. Restore energy to the equipment. Check for proper operation.

Lockout Device Cannot be Removed

In the event that a worker has left the premises without removing his/her lock, the Supervisor (or designate) shall be notified. The Supervisor will make every attempt reasonable to arrange for the worker to return and remove his/her own lock. This responsibility cannot be delegated. Should this prove to be unsuccessful, the Supervisor will contact the Manager of Health and Safety, who will be advised of situation and action taken. If, after consultation between Supervisor, Manager of Health and Safety and affected staff, it is agreed that the lock can be removed, the Manager of Health and Safety will remove the lock. The Supervisor will re-energize equipment.

Multiple Shift Lockout

In the event the equipment requires a lock-out device over one or more shifts, the second or subsequent worker will replace the previous worker's device with their own. This will take place after the previous worker has provided the next worker with all necessary safety information.

In the event the worker does not return to remove his/her lock when the equipment has been locked-out overnight, the same procedure as "Lock-out Device Cannot be Removed" will be followed.

Group Lock-out

When service or maintenance is performed by more than one individual, each person is to apply his/her own lock to a group lockout device, such as a hasp. Tag shall warn of the hazardous conditions. Equipment will not be re-energized until all individuals have removed their lock.


  • Each affected department Supervisor will maintain a Safety Lock Board.
  • Locks will be numbered and entered into a log book.
  • Locks shall be a key type padlock.
  • Workers will have one key only for his/her lock.
  • Lost locks must be reported to the Supervisor in order that action can be taken to ensure the integrity of the system.
  • Locks will be signed out in the log book before use, and signed in after use.
  • Each worker must sign out his/her own lock.
  • Locks cannot be loaned or transferred to another individual.

The lockout device must indicate the name of the person applying the lock. Tags shall warn of the hazardous conditions should the equipment be energized and shall include warnings such as Do Not Operate, Do Not Start, Do Not Close, etc.

For further information regarding this procedure, contact the Manager of Health and Safety.