LockOut/TagOut in the Wind Energy Industry
Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) is specific practices and procedures that an employee will take to guard against unexpected energization or startup of machinery and equipment, or the release of hazardous energy during operations, maintenance, or servicing activities. LOTO is a vital process for the wind energy industry.
LOTO procedures include but are not limited to:
Only authorized employees may lockout or tagout machines or equipment in order to perform servicing or maintenance.
Lockout devices (locks) and tagout devices shall not be used for any other purposes and must be used only for controlling energy.
Lockout and Tagout devices (locks and tags) must identify the name of the worker applying the device.
All energy sources to equipment must be identified and isolated.
After the energy is isolated from the machine or equipment, the isolating device(s) must be locked out or tagged out in safe or off position only by the authorized employees.
Following the application of the lockout or tagout devices to the energy isolating devices, the stored or residual energy must be safely discharged or relieved.
Prior to starting work on the equipment, the authorized employee shall verify that the equipment is isolated from the energy source, for example, by operating the on/off switch on the machine or equipment.
Lock and tag must remain on the machine until the work is completed.
Only the authorized employee who placed the lock and tag must remove his/her lock or tag, unless the employer has a specific procedure as outlined in OSHA's Lockout/Tagout standard.
In 2007, OSHA issued a letter of interpretation to clarify procedures for work on wind turbines.
Additional resources on OSHA's LOTO regulation -