Total Lockout (Safety) Ltd has launched ‘Valve Assist’, a new valve actuation device that is ideal for operating difficult valves.
Operating a valve might not normally be regarded as a high risk activity. The task of physically turning a wheel is unlikely to be included in a risk assessment. But if the valve being operated is large in size, infrequently operated or just out of reach, the worker tasked with operating the valve is highly likely to sustain some form of strain injury.
Valves of this type might have several hundred wheel revolutions to operate from open to close (or vice versa). If they’re infrequently operated they could be very stiff or worse still seized completely. And then there’s those valves where the wheel is not quite in the optimum position so overreaching or crouching is necessary to turn the wheel.
To negate all these manual handling injury risks Total Lockout (Safety) Ltd has launched an innovative new portable valve actuation system which takes all the hard work out of operating valves.
Valve Assist is a mobile portable valve actuation device. It has been developed to solve a number of valve operation issues that may exist on site. These can include:
The power tool is available in two versions, either pneumatic or ATEX approved electric torque multipliers. The valve mounting kit is a purpose-designed adaption that inter-connects the power tool with the existing valve hand wheel or drive stem. A choice of mounting kit configurations allows the actuator to be used either on an ad-hoc temporary basis or semi-permanent retrofit basis. The reaction device protects the operator from kick-backs if the valve encounters a tight spot.
Valves which are seized can be freed using Valve Assist. The power tool outputs can vary but typically can deliver up to 500Nm breakout torque.
Valves which are stiff to operate can now be operated with ease. Once the actuator is fitted the power tool effortlessly delivers torque while the operator stands by. When operation is complete the actuator can be moved to the next valve or stored for future use.
Large valves with high hand wheel revolutions can now be operated in a fraction of the usual operating time. The power tool can operate at up to 175rpm.
Significant health and safety benefits.
By effortlessly operating manual valves, Valve Assist significantly reduces the risk of manual strain injuries to workers. A valve key is often used to apply extra turning torque to the valve wheel. But even using the valve key can involve over-reaching and exertion to operate the valve. These activities can result in strain injuries to the workers. With Valve Assist, the worker can observe from a safe distance, avoiding further risk of contact with rotating wheels while the actuator does its work.