Different colour Lockout-Tagout safety padlocks, when do you use which colour?

Different colour Lockout-Tagout safety padlocks, when do you use which colour?

The core of Lockout-Tagout, safety padlocks. They come in many shapes, sizes and colours. But why do we use safety padlocks and different colours?

Why do you need Lockout-Tagout safety padlocks? By temporarily disconnecting machines from their power sources, Lockout-Tagout prevents industrial mishaps. The technique and related instruments make sure that while work is being done, machines do not abruptly stop or turn on.

When performing maintenance, Lockout-Tagout can successfully prevent mishaps brought on by moving parts and machine energy. Additionally, the visible presence in the workplace contributes to the development of a strong safety culture so that every employee can make it home safely each day.


As specified by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, employees must be able to recognise and differentiate lock-out devices from other comparable devices (such as security locks) in the workplace based on the shape, size, and colour of the lock. OSHA does not mandate specific colours for specific practices, but they do offer a recommendation.

The OSHA recommend using the following:

  • Red: for “DANGER”
  • Yellow: for “CAUTION”
  • Orange: “WARNING”
  • Fluorescent orange: “BIOLOGICAL HAZARD”


Another colour code suggestion comes from our partner, Brady. Brady’s suggestion for the different colours is more employee-based.

They recommend using the following:

  • Red: for machine maintenance
  • Blue: for contractors
  • Yellow: for electrical
  • Orange: for external employees

Brady also states that the 9 colours of their line can be used for different needs of different companies.

MobileTraining.ie has another recommendation like Brady’s based on the various workers in the workplace.

Their recommendation is as follows:

  • Red: for an authorized worker
  • Yellow: for an affected worker
  • Orange: for a contractor working as an affected worker
  • Purple: when a lock crosses over a shift, it would be put on by the authorized worker, and they will remove their red lock


To sum up, there are no standard rules regarding the colour of Lockout-Tagout locks. Any Lockout-Tagout safety programme can specify its own Lockout-Tagout padlock colour coding. Therefore, depending on the business, a colour may have a different connotation.

Are you interested to see what we recommend? Visit uniquesafetyproducts.com

Locout-Tagout-Shop has a broad assortment of safety padlocks.



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