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Keying: A Critical Component

LifeGuard Employee

“One Employee, One Lock, One Key”

For a lockout tagout program to be successful, it is critical that each employee within a facility has a designated lock and key that is unique to them. By using the free LifeGuard key charting system, you can record all the safety padlock key codes assigned to your facility and prevent unwanted key duplication, which can jeopardize your lockout tagout program.

  • To get started, you will need to register your facility with Master Lock. Please fill out and submit this Key Registration Form.
  • Upon registration, you will be asked to collect all of the existing key codes from keys used in your facility, enter them into the Key Codes Spreadsheet and submit to
  • Then, Master Lock will send you an End User Identification Number for your site's Key Chart.

On additional padlock orders, enter your I.D. number; Master Lock will ensure that the key code for each new padlock is not a duplicate of any existing key codes in your system.

Keying Options to fit your facility’s needs

Keyed Different

Keyed Different

Each lock is opened by its own unique key which does not open any other lock in the set – complying with the “One lock, one employee, one key” mantra

Keyed Alike

Keyed Alike

All padlocks in the set are opened by the same key so only one key is necessary to open numerous padlocks – for employees who need many locks, they still only have one key

Master Keyed

Master Keyed

A master key opens all locks within the system while each lock also has its own unique key – allows for responsible removal of improperly placed or forgotten lockouts according to your emergency notification policy

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You and your team completed service or repair on a locked out machine and are ready to turn it back on, but a few padlocks belonging to employees who have left the facility, remain secured. How would you remove these padlocks that are preventing and delaying the machine's operation?

Without a Master Keying system in place, you may have to resort to cutting the lockout padlocks with bolt cutters, which would destroy your valuable safety equipment. A Master Key system is under a designated supervisor's control and is only used when the safety lockout notification process is carefully followed. A Master Key allows management to responsibly open unclaimed padlocks, while preserving the protection provided by each employee's personal lock that is only opened by their assigned key(s).

The Master Keying system can reduce the number of available key changes. However, a well-designed Master Keyed system will address needs for future growth to ensure proper protection and maintain productivity.