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What are LOTO Padlocks?

May 11, 2021
What are LOTO Padlocks?

LOTO or Lock Out Tag Out padlocks are made from aluminium or steel and are used for the following:

  • Isolate machinery or equipment during installation, maintenance and repairs.
  • Ensure that all personnel conducting these works remain safe until they have finalised their work and cleared the area.
  • Used primarily in industrial settings, LOTO or isolation padlocks feature a clear visual warning of ‘Danger’, and can also be paired with LOTO tagging to provide all required additional information to the reader. When used as part of a comprehensive set of safety processes and procedures, LOTO padlocks can ensure you meet all necessary federal, state and organisational regulations. Without implementing proper lockout padlocks, processes and procedures you risk the safety of yourself and others, which can often result in injuries and even death.

    Shackles on LOTO padlocks

    The body of all LOTO padlocks is very similar, though the shackle length may differ. Most often you’ll find the body made of aluminium and encased in vinyl. Thus making it heavy-duty and protecting against electric shock. However, the types of shackles available vary according to the application required. These are the most commonly used shackle types on LOTO padlocks:

  • Steel. Used where there is no risk of electrical contact on the machine or equipment by the user. Stainless steel is particularly durable. It is also capable of withstanding exposure to high temperatures and corrosive substances.
  • Aluminium. This material is nearly as strong and durable as steel. It has the bonus of being resistant to ultraviolet rays and other chemicals.
  • Aluminium encased in vinyl. Used to prevent users from any possible electrical contact that they could suffer during maintenance and repair work.
  • Why so many colours?

    One of the most prominent features of the LOTO padlocks is the availability of a wide range of bright colours. Like creatures that exhibit bright colours to show they are poisonous, venomous and dangerous, LOTO padlocks aim to alert potential hazards. The bright colours provide a visible warning to show that the machine and equipment currently presents a danger or hazard and should not be operated.

    These bright colours have another purpose too. They can be used to mark out the machinery and equipment that each worker would be responsible for when it comes to repairs and inspections. A padlock colour can therefore be assigned to each team member for lockout points or machines. A great way to delegate the work in a large site where various machines need attending to in the same timeframe.

    LOTO padlocks are also easily personalised. Write employee’s name, department, contact number and more on each one to get these hazards attended to quicker. It is also important to note that padlocks of the same colour can be keyed alike. It is best practice to ensure that different coloured padlocks are keyed to differ. Given that each worker will be responsible for their own padlocks, keys must not be distributed amongst different workers.


    For more information on Work Safety surrounding Lockout Tagout, refer to your State or Territory Workplace Safety authority.

    ACT - Worksafe ACT

    Victoria - Worksafe Victoria

    South Australia - SafeWork SA

    Western Australia - Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety

    New South Wales - SafeWork NSW

    Tasmania - Worksafe Tasmania

    Queensland - Worksafe Queensland

    Northern Territory - NT Worksafe

    Don't forget to buy your set of LOTO padlocks and other LOTO accessories through Secure Your World today.