Are switchgear tags the same as lockout tags?
Not exactly. They are similar. You might say they are in the lockout family. Switchgear tags, like lockout tags, serve as very important electrical markers of safety to alert employees that equipment is locked out for maintenance and repair. They are widely used in the electrical transmission and distribution industry.
A lockout tag indicates that a piece of machinery or equipment has been:
- shut off
- disconnected from all energy sources
- bled of any stored energy
- tested to make sure it is not operational
All of this is verified, and the machine is locked out before any maintenance or repairs can commence.
Because field conditions are constantly changing in transmission and distribution applications, the switchgear lock out tag out tags are customized with pertinent headings concerning clearances, authorizations, holds and requirements pertaining to switching and tagging procedures. Additional blank fields for hand-written information are provided for on-the-spot recording of changing conditions.
Specific legends categorize and highlight special conditions and safety features such as:
- Hold (on/off), Secure (on/off) and Unsafe (on/off)
- Date / Time Tag Placed
- Verified by
- Switchman’s Name / Truck #
- Operator’s Name
- Work Authorization #
Since some switches are not lockable it is critical that this electrical marking information is clearly posted and protected. The NEC requires it so that a verifiable record of field conditions, changes and actions is available to all personnel, supervisors and field technicians. This maintains the safest conditions for switching and tagging processes to proceed.
Switchgear tags have spaces to accept hand-written information from the field and can be written on with pen, pencil or permanent marker. Switching Tags have self-laminating covers on one or both sides of the tag which protects any hand-written information from the elements and tampering. Tags are made from 20 mil PVC and are available with plastic, non-conductive grommets.