Hazardous energy control procedures, including lockout, use a padlock and tag as shown in this photo.
An elec­tri­cal rotary dis­con­nect that has been locked out 

Haz­ardous Ener­gy Con­trol Pro­ce­dures, or HECP, are also called Lock­out Pro­ce­dures or, in the US, Lockout/Tagout. HECP is one of the admin­is­tra­tive con­trol mea­sures falling in the fourth lev­el of the Risk Reduc­tion Hier­ar­chy, after Elimination/Substitution, Engi­neer­ing Con­trols and Infor­ma­tion for Use.

Elim­i­nat­ing ener­gy-relat­ed haz­ards by block­ing or iso­lat­ing the ener­gy source is one of the most basic means of risk reduc­tion for per­son­nel involved in main­tain­ing and ser­vic­ing equipment.

How can we help you with lockout/tagout?

We can pro­vide you with every­thing from an audit of an exist­ing lock­out pol­i­cy or pro­ce­dure to full turn-key devel­op­ment of a haz­ardous ener­gy con­trol pol­i­cy and pro­ce­dure for spe­cif­ic machines.

Regulations and Standards


A typ­i­cal lock­out station

In Cana­da, most Provinces and Ter­ri­to­ries have leg­is­la­tion requir­ing that haz­ards be “blocked” or pre­vent­ed from mov­ing by some effec­tive means when work­ers are required to enter the dan­ger zone. Until recent­ly, there was no clear guid­ance on how this should be done, and many employ­ers ref­er­enced the US OSHA reg­u­la­tions and ANSI standards.

In 2005, CSA pub­lished CSA Z460, Con­trol of Haz­ardous Ener­gy — Lock­out and Oth­er Meth­ods. This stan­dard pro­vides the guid­ance that employ­ers and machine builders require on lock­out. Note that using tags alone (tagout) is not accept­ed in Cana­da, as it does not pro­vide ade­quate pro­tec­tion. Tags must be used when apply­ing a lock­out device to secure the means of isolation.


In the USA, OSHA has long pub­lished require­ments for Lockout/Tagout, 29 CFR 1910.147. This stan­dard was sup­ple­ment­ed by ANSI when they pub­lished ANSI Z244.1, Con­trol of Haz­ardous Ener­gy — Lockout/Tagout and Alter­na­tive Meth­ods.


The EU equiv­a­lent to CSA Z460 0r ANSI Z244.1 is EN ISO 14118, Safe­ty of machin­ery — Pre­ven­tion of unex­pect­ed start-up. This stan­dard has the same scope and tech­ni­cal con­tent as ISO 14118 (see below) and includes the reg­u­la­to­ry annex­es required for har­mo­niza­tion with the Machin­ery Directive.

It’s also worth not­ing that the con­trol sys­tem’s use for pre­vent­ing unex­pect­ed machin­ery start-up is antic­i­pat­ed under this stan­dard. Sec­tion 6 of the stan­dard deals specif­i­cal­ly with this aspect. This is gen­er­al­ly not per­mit­ted under North Amer­i­can standards.


ISO 14118, Safe­ty of machin­ery — Pre­ven­tion of unex­pect­ed start-up, is the inter­na­tion­al stan­dard for haz­ardous ener­gy con­trol. It also goes beyond the Cana­di­an and US stan­dards to deal with fail­ures in the con­trol sys­tems of machin­ery. These require­ments may extend to oper­at­ing modes or con­di­tions beyond what is nor­mal­ly con­sid­ered to be the bounds of the usu­al LOTO or HECP.

This stan­dard also antic­i­pates the use of the con­trol sys­tem for the pre­ven­tion of unex­pect­ed start-up, a con­di­tion which is gen­er­al­ly not per­mit­ted under the North Amer­i­can standards.