After the BP Safety Valve Failure, we all know the importance of having a backup plan. Below are some other examples of why Valve Locks are important to everyday life.
The US Department of Labor has reported countless violations, injuries and even deaths due to non-lockout procedures of valves:
- In 2002, a Steam line was not locked out but the electric line was. One person was killed and 2 more were severely injured from the steam jets.
- 2004, Valve not locked out and after 2 months of hospitalization a worker dies from burn injuries.
- 2005, only a single inlet block valve was locked out and as a result an employees face was burned by hot oil.
- 2006, worker failed to properly lock out dryer rotary valve and he lost 3 of his fingers when they were cut off by the blades.
The National Safety Council reported 44 deaths in 2006 and 39 in 2007 due to explosion and rupture of pressurized devices.
December 2009 entire town of Adams Nebraska left without water. Due to a build up of snow and ice on the water valves the water coul not be turned off. The pipes ran dry and they lost all their water. City maintenance official Darwin Buss said “the biggest problem with the water main break was the inability to isolate which pipe had broken due to snow and ice covering many of the valves that would have otherwise shut off the pipes temporarily.”
The unexpected opening or closing of valves results in injuries to workers or surrounding environments. To prevent accidents, valve lockout devices are essential tools everyone who works on these types of systems: Electric; Pneumatic; Hydraulic; Manual and Propane.
When valves are in the “unsafe” position, the valve may not be fully open or closed. Valve locks are designed to eliminate this confusion. (We do not suggest ever locking anything to the ‘on’ position, except perhaps your eyewash station!)
Types of Valve Locks include: Universal Valve Lock; Ball Valve Lock; Butterfly Valve Lock; Gate Valve Locks (including adjustable and rotating); Plug Valve; and Cable Valve. Universal Valve Lockout fits virtually any size ball, gate, or butterfly valve. A wide selection of valve types and sized can be locked out with this single device. In addition the base of the clamp prevents the trigger from being compressed, and that keeps the valve from opened. Gate valve lockout devices deny access and cover the valve handle to help you turn off, and keep off, a pressured situation.