The Lockout/Tagout standard does not apply to servicing and maintenance operations if employees are not exposed to the risk of injury from the unexpected energization, start up, or release of hazardous energy while performing service or maintenance tasks.

Some servicing or maintenance activities do not expose workers to potential harm from the unexpected energization, startup, or release of hazardous energy because precautions taken by the employer provide effective employee protection when performing servicing and maintenance operations. These measures may include the use of a multi-step startup procedure, time delays, or audible warnings. In such relatively uncommon situations, lockout/tagout requirements do not apply. However, such alternative precautions must be carefully evaluated for their effectiveness in light of the configuration of the machinery, the reliability of the alternative measures, employee training, and other factors. Refer to The Control of Hazardous Energy – Enforcement Policy and Inspection Procedures. OSHA Directive CPL 02-00-147, (February 11, 2008) which provides the framework for evaluating an employer's use of alternative methods during servicing and maintenance operations.

The Lockout/Tagout standard does not apply to servicing or maintaining cord- and plug-connected electrical equipment when the equipment is unplugged from its energy source and the plug is under the exclusive control of the employee performing the service and/or maintenance activity. "Under the exclusive control" refers to instances in which the plug is physically in the possession of the employee, or in arm's reach and in the line of sight of the employee, or in which the employee has affixed a lockout/tagout device to the plug. This enables the employee to prevent the equipment from becoming reenergized during servicing or maintenance.