Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)

Policy Summary

It is the policy of The George Washington University to communicate the elements of the Control of Hazardous Energy Program (also known as the Lockout/Tagout Program) to all applicable employees and to expect those employees to read and understand the information presented in this program.  It is the intent of the university to provide this program not only to employees, but also to university contractors.  This program was developed to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations (29 CFR 1910.147). 

Related Regulations

The purpose of this policy is to establish minimum requirements for the control of hazardous energy in accordance with the OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.147. 

Who is Governed by this Policy 

  • Staff
  • Contractors


The policy will be used to ensure that machinery and equipment being serviced is isolated from all potentially hazardous energy sources.  Lockout/Tagout procedures will be used prior to servicing and/or maintaining machinery and equipment to prevent the unexpected energizeation, start-up, or release of stored energy that could result in injury. 

Prior to service or maintenance of machinery or equipment, locate and identify all isolating devices to be locked or tagged out as more than one energy source may be involved.   

Notify all affected employees that a lockout or tagout system is going to be utilized.  The authorized employee shall know the type and magnitude of energy that the machine or equipment utilizes and shall understand the hazard. 

Once this is completed, shut down the machine or equipment using normal stopping procedures.  Operate the switch valve or other energy-isolating devices so that the equipment is isolated from its energy source(s).  Stored energy must be dissipated or restrained by methods such as repositioning, blocking, or bleeding down. 

After all energy is isolated from the machinery or equipment, and all stored energy has dissipated, lockout and tagout the energy-isolating device(s) with the assigned individual lock(s) and tag(s). 

After ensuring that no personnel are exposed, and as a check on having disconnected the energy sources, engage the normal operating controls to make certain the equipment will not operate.  Be sure to return the control to the off or stop position after the test is completed.  The equipment is now lock/tagged out. 

This policy enforces the procedures set forth by the Control of Hazardous Energy Program, available on Health & Emergency Management Services


Lockout Device: Any device that utilizes a positive means, such as a lock, to hold an energy-isolating device in the safe position and prevent the energizing of a machine or equipment. 

Tagout Device: Any prominent warning sign, tag, or label securely fastened to an energy-isolating device containing the name of the authorized employee and the date of the lockout/tagout. 

Energy Isolating Device: Any mechanical device that physically prevents the transmission or release of energy. 

Affected Employee: Personnel who may operate equipment that is subject to lockout/tagout, or who works in an area where lockout/tagout is utilized. 

Authorized Employee: Personnel who perform lockout/tagout procedures during servicing and maintenance of machines or equipment. 

Related Information


Contact Phone Number Email Address
Environmental Health and Safety 202-994-4347  [email protected]


Responsible University Official: Assistant Vice President for Resilience
Responsible Office: Environmental Health and Safety

Noncompliance with this policy can be reported through this website.