At Ranger, safety on the job is the same as safety at home. Our employees practice lock-out, tag-out, try-out (LOTOTO), a life-saving procedure that should be used at home, especially on DIY projects.

What exactly is the lock-out, tag-out, try-out method? 

When servicing equipment with an energy source, you “lock out” or stop the energy source before beginning work. You then “tag out” or properly tag the energy source so others know this item is under maintenance. You then “try out” confirming a successful lock out. LOTOTO will prevent others from turning the energy source back on, unknowingly causing an accident. 

Let’s take, for example, your typical garbage disposal. If there is a jam in your garbage disposal, the last thing you want is for someone to flip the switch while you are trying to release the jam. 

To properly and safely remove the blockage, one should follow LOTOTO. 

  • Create a workplan and communicate it with family members
  • Unplug the garbage disposal
  • Lock-out / Tag-out: Attach an OSHA compliant, power cord lockout device, example click here, using a lock and a tag or label that states, “DANGER: LOCKED OUT DO NOT OPERATE”.
  • Try-out: Turn on the switch to garbage disposal to confirm there is no power to the appliance. Turn off switch.
  • Proceed to safely removing the jam according to manufacturer’s guidelines, 
  • Unlock the power cord lockout device,
  • Plug in the garbage disposal and operate per manufacturer’s instructions

Other situations around the house include anything electrical such as replacing light fixtures or electrical covers. Always be sure to turn off the breaker, lock-out and tag-out the breaker so no one flips the switch while working, and double-check that power is not coming through with an electrical current tester before you begin (try-out).

Note, the LOTOTO method is applicable for servicing equipment with an energy source.  Energy sources can be electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, etc.  As with all work, the first step therefore is to recognize hazards and per our discussion to recognize the potential energy sources to mitigate risks using the LOTOTO method.  

We encourage our employees and everyone to follow the lock-out, tag-out, try-out method at home to prevent injury, especially when doing any DIY projects. If you are unsure or uncomfortable, always call a professional.

For additional information about the lock-out, tag-out method, visit OSHA’s website.