Take Defective Equipment Out of Service

June 2017

Hazards: Electrical Shock, Fire, Cuts, Falls, and Property Damage


This procedure establishes standard work practices for identifying, marking, and managing defective equipment within ETA work areas. The use of this procedure will prevent unauthorized use of equipment that is defective and could cause injury.

Examples of defective equipment may include, but is not limited to: damaged electrical cords, inoperable controls, missing panels or equipment guards, damaged ladders, chairs, or step stools, odors, overheating, smoking, etc.

Note: This procedure must not be used when performing Lock-out/Tag-out (LOTO) of equipment that is being de-energized while maintenance or calibration work is being performed.


When any ETA personnel becomes aware of defective equipment, they must:

  1. Turn off or de-energise equipment, if safe to do so. This includes unplugging the electrical cord.
  1. Complete a “CAUTION- DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT” tag, ensuring that the tag describes the:
  • The name of the person who placed the equipment out of service
  • The reason why the equipment is defective
  • The date placed out of service
  • Place the completed “CAUTION-DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT” tag on:
    • The point of isolation for the energy source such as using a tie-wrap through the electrical plug prongs.
    • The main control panel for hard-wired equipment; or
    • A prominent position
  • Notify the Supervisor/Principal Investigator responsible for the equipment
  • Make arrangements (directly or through the supervisor/PI) for equipment repair or have it removed from the work area for salvage.
  • Only Qualified Electrical Workers (QEW) are permitted to make electrical repairs greater than 50VAC. For assistance with electrical repairs, go to the following Engineering Division website: http://engineering.lbl.gov/qewsupport/
  • Once the equipment has been repaired and is made safe for normal use, the “CAUTION-DEFECTIVE EQUIPMENT” tag may be removed by the person who applied the tag.