What are valve tags?

Valve tags are an important part of overall workplace safety. They are a simple item that is attached on or near the valve of any pipe. There are quite a few different types of valve tags, all of which are designed to serve the same general purpose. While not strictly required by OSHA or other organizations in most cases, they are an easy and inexpensive way to help avoid accidents because someone opened or closed a pipe valve when they shouldn’t have.

Valve Tag Materials

Valve tags can be made out of almost any type of material depending on the environment where they will be used. The following are among the most commonly used examples:

  • Plastic – Plastic tags are durable and affordable. This type can be used in almost any environment, including those where there is a lot of moisture, which makes them one of the most popular options.
  • Wooden – Wood tags aren’t nearly as common, but they are still used in some areas. They often come stamped with the necessary information so they can be immediately installed on a valve.
  • Metal – Metal tags are long lasting and can be used in almost any environment. Some may be susceptible to rust if they get wet, so that is important to keep in mind. These, however, are able to withstand much hotter temperatures than the other options.
  • Paper – Paper tags are often used temporarily, or in areas where there is very little moisture or movement. The advantage of paper tags is that they can be easily printed to create custom tags whenever they are needed. These are also commonly used when following a lockout/tagout safety procedure for performing maintenance on pipes.

Information on Valve Tags

The information found on valve tags will depend on where they are used, and the goals of the facility. In most cases, they will identify what travels through the pipe so that people will be aware before they open or close the valve. They can also identify which valve it is attached to (often referencing a master diagram of the pipe system). Having custom valve tags made allows a facility to easily convey the exact information needed based on their unique situation.


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