Category: Safety Tips

Safety Tips for A Successful Deck Construction

Having selected best deck design and deck contractor, the next step you have to do is to make your deck design into reality. It means that you have to start its construction.

There are several things that you have to prepare in order to make the deck construction can go smoothly. One of them is safety during the deck construction.

If you ignore about safety in the stage of construction, perhaps you have to bury your dream to have deck for your family.

So, it is very important for you to ensure safety for every activity done at this stage.

Safety Tips for Your Deck Construction

Starting out a successful deck construction requires big effort to ensure that it will be finished as your expectation.

No accident is the best achievement that you have to think from the start.

To have a safe deck construction, you have to consider the following practical tips in advance:

  • Make sure that your deck contractor has adequate experiences and good reputation in your local community. Check their legal certification if required.
  • Fix a clear construction scope between you and your deck contractor. Who is responsible for the safety matter?
  • Provide suitable and enough numbers of safety tools such as portable fire extinguisher, leather glove, safety helmet, so on.
  • Inspect that all the contractor members are in good health condition during the construction stage. You need to watch this carefully.
  • Ask your deck contractor to send you list of tools they will use and a report of each tool specification and condition.
  • Be careful with flammable and combustible materials. Put them in a safe area, far enough from ignition sources.
  • Start every day construction activity with a short safety talk.
  • Do not forget to use safety slogan and safety banner to remind contractor worker about safety.

Tips on How to Control Hazards of Static Electricity in Chemical Industry

Talking the hazards of static electricity in chemical industry is like re-open my memory when I was facing such kind of incident in the plant several years ago.

The accident happened when metallic-powder catalyst charging was being done from a wagon into catalyst feeder with poor earth grounding and incomplete flammable gas substitution.

Static electric sparks were created and ignited flammable gas inside the catalyst feeder immediately. A fire occurred.

That is only an example of static electricity fire hazards.

Static electricity can cause a fire and may an explosion. The effect will be very huge.

So, that’s why I think it is very important to share about this topic with all of you.

Let’s get started.

Accidents Caused by Static Electricity

Some accidents are taken as case studies to give you a clear look at the hazard of static electricity in chemical industry.

Most of these accidents involve static electricity fire hazards. It means that they involved flammable vapors or gases.

Please look at the statistics below:

According to Yuqin Hu [1],  there are 99 accidents that occurred in the process of oil-gas storage and transportation in the last 30 years caused by static electricity. 85% of those accidents occurred in tank farms, gas station, and petroleum refineries.

In Japan, from 1960-2010 (50 years), 153 accidents, which caused by static electricity, had occurred in petroleum and chemical industries [2].

On October 29, 2007, a fire and series of explosion at Barton Solvent, Iowa, US occurred due to static electricity. Based on Chemical Safety Board investigation result, this accident was caused by poor electrical bonding and grounding during the filling process of hydrocarbon.

All the above accidents had left a clear message about hazards of static electricity: appropriate static electricity control is so important.

What is Static Electricity?

Before we dive into the static electricity hazards, it had better understand the definition of static electricity.

What is static electricity actually?

First, from a general dictionary. Static electricity a stationary electric charge, typically produced by friction, that causes sparks or crackling or the attraction of dust or hair.

Wikipedia has a slightly different definition. It defines static electricity as an imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material, which remains exist until it can move away in the form of electric current or electric discharge.

A simpler definition was written by Dirk Smith: the friction of one insulator against another displaces electrons, which accumulate on one of the surfaces.

The friction (i.e the forces) of two materials is the main cause of static electricity generation. We shall take care of it.

There are many kinds of operations in a chemical manufacturing plant that create static electricity such as feeding, flowing, pouring, agitating, filtering, mixing, vacuuming and pumping.

Meanwhile, the charging rate of static electricity depends on several factors, i.e flow rate, turbulence level, poor material conductivity and contacting surface area.

Hazards of Static Electricity in Chemical Industry

Static electricity can release sparks if it is not deliberately dissipated. Sparks can become an ignition source.

They will ignite a flammable atmosphere immediately when they are in contact and can create fire and explosion.

Fire and explosion are the two main hazards of static electricity.

Besides fire and explosion, hazards of static electricity can be an electric shock to the workers. The risks can be injury and death.

Static Electricity Safety Tips

Now, we are going to learn how to control hazards of static electricity safely as well as controlling the hazards.

Here are the static electricity safety tips:

  1. Have a good understanding of static electricity generation and control. Provide an effective training.
  2. Always follow the standard operating procedure.
  3. Apply appropriate safety slogan to remind about the hazards of static electricity.
  4. Announce a list of static electricity sources: type of operations and location.
  5. Always wear appropriate PPE during the operation: anti-static clothing, anti-static safety shoes, anti-static gloves, etc.
  6. Make sure to use appropriate material for handling. Do not use a plastic container for oil or fuel, to avoid static electricity due to fluid flow.
  7. Beware when flowing or mixing different two different materials such as fuel and air, or flammable gas contaminated with rust.
  8. Using bonding technique: bonding is the process of connecting two or more conductive objects together by means of a conductor. Here is an example of bonding wire from Justrite, Justrite-08497 10′ long.
  9. Use proper static electricity grounding technique: earthing involves connecting one or more conductive objects to the ground.
  10. Have a regular check on earth grounding resistance value. Use a good tester such as Extech 382252 Ground Resistance Tester for doing this.
  11. Substitution involves replacing conductive materials with non-conductive ones.
  12. Adding a specialty chemical to increase fluid conductivity such as hydrocarbons.
  13. Repair immediately any flammable liquid tank or vessel, pipe.
  14. Prevented a vapour-air mixture through inerting (with nitrogen) and mechanical ventilation.
  15. Make sure you have done a complete process of hazard identification and assessing the associated risk. Repeat this regularly to avoid a miss.

References:
[1] Yuqin Hu et al 2013 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 418 012037
[2] A Ohsawa 2011 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 301 012033

21 Chemical Plant Workplace Safety Topics for Meetings

Do you usually have difficulty in getting safety meeting ideas? If you are facing this problem, this post hopefully can help you solve the problem.

The solution is to have a list of various workplace safety topics for meetings.

Talking the same topic in safety meetings will not only make you lose meeting members’ attention but it will also result in a poor-participation meeting.

In addition, having a very limited workplace safety topics for meeting is also a problem. Continue reading…

44 Important Safety Precautions Inside the Laboratory

Having a good understanding toward safety precautions inside the laboratory is a very first step to keep laboratory safety.

If you ignore these safety precautions, then you will end with an unexpected injury or accident.

So, always make sure that you already understand and implement all of these safety precautions inside the laboratory.

Do not forget to remind other workers with safety slogans for the laboratory. They are effective and simple to use. Continue reading…

31 Confined Space Examples That You Have to Take Care

Since it is very critical for you to know a work is defined as confined space work or not, so I think it will be very valuable if I can show you as many confined space example as I can.

If you have already read my previous article titled Hazards in Confined Space, you will notice that confined space is defined as a work area that has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy.

Other characteristics of a confined space are:

  • It contains harmful gases like H2S, carbon monoxide, etc.
  • Confined space oxygen level is low.
  • It contains material that may harm the person who enters it

Continue reading…

44 Practical Tips on Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders

Safe handling of compressed gas cylinders is an important issue in laboratory, welding workshop, and warehouse. In reverse, improper handling of compressed gas cylinders will cause big safety problems and may cause an accident to happen.

Now, look at the following facts:

From the year 2014 to 2017, OSHA reports that there are 7 fatalities associated with gas cylinder operations. The latest accident happened when an employee died during a welding operation. This number covers only in the US. The world numbers will absolutely be bigger than that.

When you talk about the safe handling of compressed gas cylinders, basically it relates to several aspects; storage, transport, and operation. Continue reading…

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