The issue is the “unexpected” release of energy. If the isolation of the energy (Gas) is under the direct control of the person performing the activity ( like the plug on a toaster) and the device cannot be remotely energized or the valve opened remotely then 29 CFR 1910.147 (Lockout/Tag out) does not apply and the device need not be locked out.
However, if the gas valve inside the fume hood is what we are talking about and the isolation valve is the gas cock upstream of that valve and it is not in sight of and under the direct and sole control of the person protected while performing the activity (maintenance, operation, testing etc.) then that gas cock must be locked out and control of the key must be with the party protected by the lockout boundary.
EHS/Radiation Safety Officer
Most of this discussion has used the term “lock out” however many of the suggestions have been means of cutting off the gas flow that may be useful at times but do not meet the requirements of a lock out process. For example, installing a plug in place of the hose barb seems like a good thing for some extended maintenance operations, but is not something where the “key” can be under the control of the person working on the system.
There are purpose-designed lock out devices that are plastic clam-shells sized to fit over valves that work by twisting, like a faucet, or over electrical plugs,. A lock can be used to keep the cover closed, and when closed the valves cannot be turned, or the plug cannot be plugged in. That meets the requirements of a lock out device.
I suspect devices of this kind can be found that will fit over the gas valve. I am not suggesting they are inexpensive, but they are there and comply with lock out requirements.
Our potential client is a contractor who has it in his bid specs but no particular mechanism is specified. No idea what the rationale behind the specification is. While it would certainly be interesting to know and something to discuss with the project manager who authored the bid, this gets beyond the original question which is can it be done on individual valves and, if so, how.
Obviously, if they don't want to use gas in the lab anymore or restrict it to one or two outlets, there are smarter/better ways to do it, but in the absence of specific details, we are dealing with hypotheticals. If I find out more about the reasoning I'll let y'all know.
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On Sep 18, 2013, at 12:19 PM, James Keating <jameskeating1944**At_Symbol_Here**GMAIL.COM> wrote:
1. Why do you want to lock the valve.
2. Remember this is a hazardous (explosive) gas. If you are “locking” the valve as part of an energy isolation program to perform maintenance and the valve is part of that lockout boundary your lockout/tag out energy control procedure must be followed.
3. If you do not have a stored energy control lockout/tag out program you must develop and implement one.
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