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Blind Flange Lockouts. Why they are needed.

 

Blind flange Lockout on a pipe

blind flange lockout device is a safety improvement used during maintenance on piping systems. Let’s explore its purpose and how it enhances workplace safety:

Purpose:

  • Blind flanges are designed to permanently seal off one end of a pipe. It is used to seal off an unused connection point on a pipeline or equipment. During maintenance, blind flanges allow easy access for inspection, cleaning, or modifications.
  • The blind-flange lockout device is designed to eliminate the opportunity for all bolts to be removed.
  • Its purpose is to ensure that the blank or blind remains in place, preventing: Premature releases of energy downstream or accidental release of hazardous chemicals into the environment.

Why Is It Needed?:

  • The blind flange lockout device serves as a safety improvement during maintenance work on piping systems.  We consider them as another layer of safety because they require similar effort to remove as padlocks.
  • Relying solely on tags for blanks or blinds is not foolproof. Tags provide only a general warning and may be ignored or forgotten by workers.

 How Does It Work?:

  • The blind-flange lockout device covers the bolts securing the blind flange.
  • By doing so, it eliminates the opportunity for all bolts to be removed.
  • This ensures that the blank or blind remains in place, preventing premature releases of energy downstream or the release of chemicals into the environment.

Protective Method:

  • During maintenance:
    • The crew secures the pipeline by locking out upstream valves.
    • A blank or blind is placed in the system to block any potential downstream flow.
    • The flange bolts are torqued to proper specification.
    • The blind-flange lockout device covers at least one of the torqued bolts.

In summary, the blind-flange lockout device enhances safety by preventing accidental removal of bolts, ensuring the blank or blind remains in place during maintenance activities. 

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Friday, 21 June 2024

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