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How to easily lock out small to giant wheel handles in refineries (Case)

Health & Safety

Ball valves are a common sight on pipes in refineries and are important to control the flow of oil and chemicals

As a consequence, being able to lock out ball valves and empty specific pipes for a while, will no longer expose workers to the dangers posed by pipe contents. When pipes can no longer be reopened before maintenance is done, interventions on the pipes themselves, on connected machinery or infrastructure can become significantly safer.


One of the world’s largest oil and gas companies needed a solution to lock out ball valves in their refineries. Ball valves controlled by giant wheel handles were being locked out with large iron chains, which created a suboptimal safety solution as the wheel handle could still be moved. Because of the wheel handle’s giant size, the company’s current provider did not have a fitting Lockout/Tagout solution available.


Brady offered its Universal Lockout System to easily lock ball valves with wheel handles of all sizes in their off-position. The Universal Lockout System comes with a flexible yet strong cable in nylon or sheathed steel with variable length:

-2,44m (nylon & sheathed steel)

-4,88m (sheathed steel)

-6,10m (sheathed steel)

Unlike with chains, it is possible to firmly lock a wheel handle in place with the Universal Lockout System as both a locking system and a visual deterrent. Both the oil company’s plant manager and safety manager agreed to take their Lockout programme one step further with the Universal Lockout System.

Read more about Padlock Planning and Padlock Recognition

Because Brady was able to solve the giant wheel handle lockout issue, our customer challenged us to come up with a padlock plan for their 10 factories on-site. After successfully completing a pilot programme in one factory, Brady supplied all 10 factories with 15,000 keyed alike padlocks, 1000 lockboxes each with an additional keyed different padlock, and a custom label on each lockbox.

The complete shipment was realised within two weeks after receiving the order. Fifteen thousand padlocks, each engraved with an employee’s name, were supplied in phased deliveries per factory, with the last delivery eight weeks after receiving the order, as requested by our customer. Brady also supplied the 1000 lockboxes, each identified by a custom label, to each of the 10 factories at the right time, right before our customer undertook a huge turnaround.

Find out more about the solution and its elements, download the catalogue and guidebook or contact Brady to consult your specific Lockout/Tagout needs!