How to Choose the Best Lockout Tagout Device for your Application

When one is looking for a lockout tagout device for circuit breakers they basically have two choices: they can choose one of those small red circuit breaker lockouts that locks out individual breakers or they can choose a device that locks out the entire panel, the Panel Lockout

What are Some of the Advantages of the Panel Lockout over Circuit Breaker Lockouts?

The Panel Lockout is much sturdier and secure than those small, red, circuit breaker lockouts, which can fall off or easily be removed.

To use circuit breaker lockouts you must have many different sizes to fit different types of circuit breakers. The Panel Lockout can be used on any panel cover with screws, and with our new clips, on many panel covers without screws. It doesn’t matter what type of circuit breakers are in the panel.

The panel door can not be closed when circuit breaker lockouts are installed. The circuit breaker lockout can be accidentally removed when others have access to the panel. The door is always closed and locked with the Panel Lockout.

Several circuit breakers can easily be locked out with the Panel Lockout with only one padlock.

When installing a circuit breaker lockout there is a danger of accidentally turning off an adjacent breaker. The Panel Lockout is installed outside the panel so there is no chance of accidentally disturbing an active circuit breaker.

What are Some Other Advantages of the Panel Lockout?

The Panel Lockout is a time saving tool in new construction. During construction, we often wait until the last minute to terminate wiring onto live panels in order to keep the wires dead as long as possible. Panel trims and covers aren’t installed until the wires are terminated. With the Panel Lockout, as soon as wires are installed they can be terminated to prevent damage or theft. Then the panel trims and covers can be installed and locked out with the Panel Lockout. It eliminates searching for misplaced panel covers at the end of the job and scrambling to terminate panels at the end of the project.

The Panel Lockout is only 13 inches long, when retracted, and weighs only a few ounces. It fits in a toolbag and can be used on most electrical panels. With the two available extensions, the Panel Lockout can be used on panels from 14 inches to 37 inches wide. The cost of a Panel Lockout is only a fraction other lockout/tagout systems.


Have There Been a Study on Circuit Breaker Lockouts?

Yes. Some of the conclusions taken directly from the report are as follows:


Several of these molded plastic lockout devices are too flimsy or do not clamp the breaker handles adequately, and can be easily removed with much less than the “excessive” force required by OSHA. As such, they fail to perform their intended function.

Non-adjustable “universal” devices that utilize the handle holes are ineffective. The holes provide a pivot point which imparts a sliding action to the lockout device as the handle is moved. The cavity walls that surround the handles have excessive clearance which allows significant movement and in some cases operation of the breaker. In addition, these holes are highly variable between breaker types, and it does not appear that any molded plastic pin of that size could have the strength necessary to comply with the OSHA requirements for “substantial” devices. For these reasons, the use of side handle holes for lockout purposes should be abandoned.

Multi-pole devices that capture the tie-bar without clamping, or single pole devices with large “universal” handle cavities, contain excessive handle clearances that can allow operation of breakers with the device installed.

For the complete report go to:


Is There a Device Available Specifically to Prevent Vandalism?

Yes, there is a Steel Panel Lockout.  This Panel Lockout can help stop vandalism and theft in electrical panels and pull boxes. They are effective on temporary light and power panels or where vandals may try to forcibly enter the panel. They are 16 inches long when retracted and fit panels or pull boxes from 17 inches to 27 inches wide. Custom sizes are available upon request.

The Steel Panel Lockout is designed to keep vandals from entering an electrical panel or a junction box. With the high price of copper, wire theft has been increasing on construction projects. Theft not only results in a loss of the value of the wire, but also the cost of re-installing it. By using our Steel Panel Lockout to lock panels and junction boxes before the power is turned on, thieves will have a difficult time trying to steal the wire.

The Steel Panel Lockout is also good for temporary light and power panels on construction jobs. These are panels that should be accessed only by the electrician and can be kept on the panel at all times. Steel Panel Lockouts can be used on panels 17 inches to 27 inches wide. Custom sizes are available.

The Steel Panel Lockouts should not be used near exposed live bus or live wires.

What is Lockout Tagout?

Lockout tagout is a safety procedure used when work needs to be done on electrical wiring or equipment. Of course the circuit breaker needs to be shut off first. But what if someone turns the breaker on while work on the wiring is still in progress? The purpose of a lockout tagout device is to prevent that from happening. All lockout tagouts have some things in common. The lockout is installed and a lock is placed on it. Only the electrician doing the work should have the key. A tagout is then placed onto the lock to notify everyone that work on circuit wiring is being done. The tag warns them not to tamper with the device. The tag should have the date and contact information of the electrician performing the work. Every electrician must use some lockout tagout device when working on live circuit wiring. OSHA mandates the use of lockout tagout. Lockout tagout can save lives.

Check out this great website for Electrical Panel Lockout.