Lockout program

by Nov 14, 2018Lockout

Lockout program


What is it?

Also called Hazardous Energy Control Program, it is a written document ultimately aimed at eliminating or reducing as far as possible the risks related to hazardous energies on equipment during maintenance work.  Its purpose is to alleviate risks associated with power supplies or unexpected start-up, for example by a third person or a sudden release of accumulated energy. Its role is to provide framework and systematize the application of lockout or other hazardous energy control methods.


Standardized content

The content of a lockout program is described in the CSA Z460-13 standard [1]. There also exists a more detailed verification guide for lockout programs, published by the IRSST [2]. Writing a personalized lockout plan adapted to the establishment in which it will be used is essential to promoting the application of lockout.

A lockout program must be drafted even before starting to create lockout placards or determining alternate methods for hazardous energy control.

Here are some important points that must be included in a lockout program:

  • The roles and responsibilities of the different actors of lockout: whether it is the person applying lockout or his manager, each plays an important role in the application of lockout procedures. The responsibilities of each actor must be clear and defined in advance, notably in the presence of contractors.
  • Identification of activities requiring lockout: to avoid all confusion, activities requiring lockout must be listed with precision, i.e. by using the names of the tasks and not general wording such as ‘’maintenance, setting, etc.’’
  • All necessary lockout hardware must be identified and listed in the program, whether it be the type of isolation device that is found in the establishment (e.g. disconnect, valve) or the type of lockout device (valve cover, hasp, personal lock).
  • The fundamental principles of lockout must be defined in the program: single-key padlocks, no combination locks, each person is responsible for their own safety by placing their own lock and removing it themselves, etc.
  • General lockout procedure: it contains the steps for stoppage, power supply cut-off, absence of energy verification, reenergizing and start-up. It is the point of departure for all lockout procedures (lockout placards) written afterwards.
  • Training and informing personnel: knowing from the start exactly who to train, when to train the employees, frequency of refresher training, how to train them (method and content of training) is a crucial step in the success of lockout implementation.
  • Equally, providing for a lockout audit is a guarantee for long-term success (e.g. how to perform the audit, who performs it, at what frequency). The lockout audit includes not only the audit of the lockout program, but also the audit of lockout placards (procedures) and the audit of lockout application.

Other points such as methods for ensuring continuity of lockout, management of special cases or management of contractors are all points that must be included in any lockout program. The Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (RROHS) contains requirements covering most of the elements that must be included in a lockout program [3].

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[1] Canadian Standards Association. (2013). Control of hazardous energy – Lockout and other methods. Z460-13 (R2018) Standard. Toronto: Canadian Standards Association.

[2] Burlet-Vienney, D., Jocelyn, S., Chinniah, Y., Daigle, R. (2009). Verifying the content of lockout programs (Guide RF-635). Retrieved from http://www.irsst.qc.ca/en/publications-tools/publication/i/100501/n/verification-du-contenu-d-un-programme-de-cadenassage-rf-617

[3] Regulation respecting occupational health and safety, CQLR, c. S-2.1, r. 13.

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Intervention Prévention concentrates its operations in the field of work safety, offering specialized services following Standards CSA Z462 – Workplace Electrical Safety, CSA Z460 – Control of Hazardous Energy: Lock-out and Other Methods, and CSA Z432 – Safeguarding of Machinery.


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