The Importance of Lockout Signs and Tags

Lockout signs and tags are an important part of any lockout tagout process and help to prevent hazards in the workplace. They are often used in conjunction with lockout devices for locking off an isolation point and assist in ensuring correct procedures are being adhered to.

  • OSHA regulations for lockout signs and tags consist of precise detailed specifications relating to the design, application and use of symbols. For example: “Caution signs.
  • The standard color of the background shall be yellow; and the panel, black with yellow letters.
  • Any letters used against the yellow background shall be black.”
  • Standardization of lockout signs and tags helps to ensure that all of the correct information is conveyed in an effective manner.
  • The absence of lockout signs and tags would have a huge impact on the workplace.

The size and shape of signs and tags vary based on application and usage. Colored signs and tags including danger, warning, caution and notice, display messages clearly and simply. However, custom tags can feature technician details, specific instructions and photos of authorized employees, proving to be more informative. Tags that show a visual representation of an authorized employee, demonstrate who has locked off the machinery or equipment and that their life is at risk.

Lockout signs and tags should be durable and sturdy enough to withstand harsh conditions in a workplace and be able to prevent accidental removal. They should also; be easily removable at the end of the work cycle, clearly, display warning messages, be direct, have a 5/16″ hole to accommodate the diameter of a padlock shackle (for tags) and also have enough space for workers to fill out their details completely, large enough for others to read.

Why are signs and tags so important?

  • They can be a last line of defense against a potentially lethal mistake
  • Without signs and tags in place, workers may not be aware of any possible hazards
  • They increase safety by clearly identifying equipment that may pose a threat
  • Tags can be used in situations where an energy-isolation device cannot be physically locked out
  • They provide detailed instructions on how to follow lockout procedures
  • Having symbols on tags can convey danger quickly and powerfully to users who may not be able to read small print or do not speak the English
  • They clearly provide important info such as who authorized lockout, the reason, the date and the current status

It is fundamental that all lockout tags and signs are in compliance with OSHA regulations. Total Lockout provides a large range of lockout tags and signs.

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