Many industries and facilities use compressed air to power production lines. However, improper management of compressed air utilities during maintenance or emergency situations will have serious consequences. To prevent accidents and personal injuries, there should be a proper installation and use of a simple device called a pneumatic lockout valve. These specialised air rams facilitate proper lockout and tag out procedures required under government occupational safety procedures and criteria.
Identifying proper pneumatic lockout valves
Based on government occupational safety criteria, pneumatic lockout valves are identified as follows:
1. Capability to be locked in the OFF position
The main purpose of any lockout valve is to speedily expel all pressurised compressed air in the lines and shut off the machine. This should be done for all emergencies or maintenance purposes. When the lockout valve handle is pushed inward, it shuts off the flow of compressed air and vents the downstream pressure towards the exhaust port. A lock can be placed on the handle to prevent the handle from being pulled out.
2. Easily identifiable as an isolation device
In the sudden event that an emergency shut-off is needed, personnel shouldn’t be fumbling around looking for the lockout valve. Pneumatic lockout valves are normally painted a bright yellow colour with a red handle. This easily identifies it as an air-line shut-off.
3. Have a visible pressure indicator
Lockout valves can either have a simple manual pop-up indicator or an electronic metre. Most lockout valves use the proven and effective manual pop-up indicator because the red button is clearly visible when the valve is under pressure and will retract when compressed air has been successfully vented.
4. Have an exhaust port larger than the supply ports
Compressed air from a line needs to be expelled as quickly as possible especially during emergencies. Thus, lockout valves need to have a large exhaust port. Some lockout valves even have silencers within the exhaust ports to quiet the loud whooshing sound that accompanies the venting of compressed air.
Master Mac 2000 P/L
At Master Mac 2000, we stock quality parts and also provide excellent sourcing for those “hard-to-get” parts such as air rams and some pneumatic valves. We service the Queensland and Northern New South Wales areas for any process and equipment needs. We provide quality and proven brands such as Mack (exclusively made in Australia), Univer, Tolomatic, Mac, Piab, American, Rotoflux, and other brands stocked in our Brisbane warehouse and office. For enquiries or to view our products, message or visit at https://mastermac2000.com.au/ or call us at 07 3344 4711.