Valve tags are an important resource for many types of workplaces. These tags are intended to make it easier for employees, maintenance personal, emergency workers, and others to determine what type of solution is contained behind a valve. Opening a valve can release the solution to the surrounding environment or allow it travel into another area. If someone opens the wrong valve, or does it without understanding what is going to happen, they could be exposing themselves and the entire facility to serious danger. This is why it is important to think about how many valves in a facility need to be tagged.
Which Valves to Tag
A company can take one of two routes when planning their valve tag strategy. The first option is to simply put a tag on every single valve in the facility. This will help to ensure there is no confusion regarding what is going to happen when a valve is opened or closed. It will also prevent a misunderstanding from occurring should a valve go missing, since this would immediately be noticeable.
The other option is to only place valve tags on those valves that are controlling potentially hazardous solutions. If a pipe is being used just to transport water, for example, then using this strategy it would not be necessary to place a tag on the pipe. Of course, this would not be the case if opening a valve could release water into an electrical system or something of that nature.
How Many Valves Should be Tagged?
It is generally a best practice to tag all the valves in a facility rather than only doing some of them. Valve tags are very easy to use, very affordable, and generally last a long time. With this in mind, there is no strong reason not to tag all the valves in an area. That being said, however, it is not required to tag all valves in all situations by ANSI or other organizations.
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