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Handwheel height above grade

Handwheel height above grade

Handwheel height above grade

I am a Structural Designer wanting to know what the guidelines for horizontal hand-wheels and their height above grade. If anyone knows where it might be addressed in OSHA, please let me know. These are hand-wheels that are not typically used very often, but only when isolating a line. Currently to the center-line height it is about 71".
I appreciate any help I can get on this.

RE: Handwheel height above grade

Is this pipeline-related? If so, I'd suggest the "Pipelines, Piping, and Fluid Mechanics engineering" subforum.
That said, I don't know if there is any standard; I would expect the pipeline height to be dictated by other conditions and then access provisions made as needed (either platform/ stoop below, or possibly chain-operated handwheel if needed).

RE: Handwheel height above grade

Thanks. It is hard to find anything definitive. Pipeline Launchers/Receivers are usually about three feet above grade, Valves, hand-wheels can be taller. I will try your suggestion.

RE: Handwheel height above grade

Thanks very much for that.

RE: Handwheel height above grade

Our treatment plant has 42-inch high guardrails near numerous handwheel operators, which creates "knuckle busters" conditions.
You should check heights and layouts to avoid conflicts at your installation.

RE: Handwheel height above grade

See uploaded file which IMHO gives a reasonable approach to acceptable handwheel heights but actual may vary between clients and their operation preferences. Note that 71 inch seems to me to be on the high side except for small bore valves, think of the torque required.

I would also add that it would probably be acceptable to clients operators to add a permanent or portable platform/steps on ad-hoc basis where this type of height is unavoidable but try to design out.

RE: Handwheel height above grade

Yes, "optimum" handwheel height is important: Apply those guidelines above whenever you can.


To get the best handwheel height - for a valve used infrequently (for isolation only), change the grating elevation of the platform. Do not change pipeline elevation to move the handwheel unless there is 0.0 cost impact! (No effect on vent lines, tanks, pressure vessels, structural supports, other pipes in the pick rack, drain lines, drain slopes, etc, etc, etc.)

Add a handrail and grating? Much less expensive than rebuilding a pipeline.
Use a chain-handle extension operator? Done very often for handwheel/manual valves 6-10-20-30 feet above floot level. I do not see chain-operated for 1-2 foot offsets though.

RE: Handwheel height above grade

Thanks to all for the good information.

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