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HOT TAKE | Are You Training Your Employees on LOTO the Right Way?

28 May 2024
Paper Machine - train employees on loto the right way

Hot Take on Theoretical vs. Hands-on Training for Performing Lockout Tagout

How can you train employees on LOTO the right way? No program is complete until people know their roles and responsibilities. That’s why all management programs, whether it’s Lockout Tagout (LOTO), Confined Space, or even just being in the plant, have a dedicated training portion.

Your goal should be to train Employees on LOTO the right way from the start. Some training practices are fairly straightforward, for example:

Basic training for when you are in the plant

  • Here are the hazards you’re going to encounter in the facility 
  • Here are the main safety measures you need to follow 
  • Call this number in case of emergency 
  • Quick test to validate your understanding 

Others however, like LOTO, can be more complicated and benefit from a bit of practice. The problem is that practice, when it comes to LOTO, can be tricky. You are testing the person’s ability to follow the guidelines defined in your program. Such as,

  • Where to find the appropriate ECP 
  • How to select the appropriate ECP for the job at hand 
  • How to locate each Energy Isolating Device out in the facility 
  • What type of material to use in each situation (padlock types, valve covers, chains, etc.) 
  • What to do when there is a problem with an ECP (not reviewed, Energy Isolating Device is broken, etc.) 

Each of these things cannot be properly evaluated with a regular theoretical test. You need to evaluate the person while they’re doing it.

Best practices to train employees on LOTO the right way 

  • Train employees on actual machines in the field
  • Build a replica or dedicated training equipment
  • Use virtual reality training 
  • Incorporate physical lockout simulators 

These different tools range in cost and ease of maintenance, but they all allow you to test what’s important. 

Did we miss something? We’ve seen a lot in our 35+ years of working to protect those in the Paper Industry. That said, we are open to any opportunity to gain another perspective – so, feel free to reach out and teach us something new. Your voice is one we want to hear!

master LOTO. Leo signs off on CONFORMiT Lockout Tagout Software


For 35 years, CONFORMiT has developed and marketed Cloud-Based Software-as-a-Service products to analyze and manage environmental, social, and governance (ESG) risks to support sustainability strategies. CONFORMiT’s simple and reliable solutions also promote companies’ and workers’ excellence in occupational health and safety management.

CONFORMiT enables its clients and their communities to provide a healthy and safe workplace while improving their productivity and profitability to build a more sustainable future.

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Written by Gabriel LeRoi