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Category Archives: Turnaround Support Service Solutions

Total Safety Acquires Z-Safety Systems

Houston, TX and Brussels, Belgium (July 25, 2014)

Z-Monitoring Patented Confined Safety System Deepens Total Safety’s Solutions Sets.
Total Safety, the leading international safety solutions provider, today announced it has acquired Z-Safety Systems (d/b/a Z-Monitoring), designer and engineer of the Z-Monitoring Centralized Confined Space Monitoring System, from Z-Group. Z-Monitoring developed the only globally patented system to safely monitor and communicate with confined space personnel. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Full Story

Western Refining’s El Paso Refinery Receives Total Safety’s ‘Safety Innovation’ Award

Houston, TX—Western Refining’s El Paso Refinery is the recipient of Total Safety’s “Safety Innovation” Award for its approach to improving safety within the workplace. Western Refining Inc. (NYSE: WNR) is an independent oil refiner and marketer, headquartered in El Paso, Texas, operating mostly in the southwestern and western United States.

Total Safety, the world’s leading integrated industrial safety services company, awards its Safety Innovation Award to companies that make incredible and cutting-edge advancements in areas of safety. David Johnson, sales manager of professional and technical services, Total Safety, nominated Western Refining for the award.

“Western Refining’s innovative approach to safety is apparent through its use of pilot projects designed to increase worker safety. In this industry, ‘change’ can be difficult to implement, especially when it comes to safety policies and procedures, but Western Refining actively seeks out ways to improve its safety culture,” explains Mr. Johnson.

Total Safety’s Centralized Confined Space Monitoring System (CCSMS), a new technology designed to improve safety within permit-required confined spaces, has been implemented as a pilot project for a number of refineries to increase worker safety. Total Safety’s exclusively-licensed and patented CCSMS utilizes a central control center that continuously identifies workers within permit-required confined spaces; maintains visual contact and a clear line of two-way communication with workers inside and outside the permit space; monitors the atmosphere of the permit space for toxic or dangerous gases; and sounds appropriate alarms if an incident occurs.

Watch our Centralized Confined Space Monitoring System video on our website at


About Total Safety

Total Safety, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company, is the world’s premier provider of integrated safety and compliance services and the products necessary to support them, including gas detection, respiratory protection, safety training, fire protection, compliance and inspection, industrial hygiene, onsite emergency medical treatment/paramedics, communications systems, engineered systems design, and materials management. It operates from 142 locations in 20 countries to ensure the safe Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide (W3).

Total Safety has been selected as one of “America’s Safest Companies” for 2012 by EHS Today, in addition to receiving the “Best in Class” award from the Houston Business Roundtable, multiple AFPM Awards, and a host of industry and customer safety accolades.


For additional information, contact:

Stenning Schueppert

Senior Vice President – Strategy, Marketing & Corporate Development, Total Safety




Total Safety’s Centralized Confined Space Monitoring System Evaluated by Texas A&M Engineering Extension

TEEX evaluates Total Safety's Centralized Confined Space Monitoring System
TEEX puts Total Safety’s Centralized Confined Space Monitoring System to the test

Total Safety, the world’s leading integrated safety services company, announced that its Centralized Confined Space Monitoring System has been tested and evaluated by the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service Product Development Center (“TEEX PDC”) at TEEX’s Emergency Services Training Institute to verify compliance with the current interpretation of Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s 29 CFR 1910.146. The patent-pending system from Z-Systems, already successfully deployed in Europe, will likely serve as a further supplement to existing confined space safety operations.

Total Safety’s exclusively-licensed Centralized Confined Space Monitoring System utilizes a central control center that continuously identifies workers within permit-required confined spaces; maintains visual contact and a clear line of two-way communication with workers inside and outside the permit space; monitors the atmosphere of the permit space for toxic or dangerous gases; and sounds appropriate alarms if an incident occurs.

Total Safety engaged TEEX PDC to review and provide an independent third-party evaluation, and to coordinate and document operational tests utilizing the parameters of TEEX TESTED®. The TEEX PDC TESTED trademark ensures products or technologies entering the marketplace perform reliably with integrity and durability, as intended, under acceptable, repeatable real-world conditions.

About Total Safety

Total Safety, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company, is the world’s premier provider of integrated compliance, personnel and professional safety solutions and the products necessary to support them. It operates from 141 locations in 19 countries to ensure the safe Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide (W3). For more information about Total Safety, visit


Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service Product Development Center (TEEX PDC) leverages engineering expertise, experienced market analysts along with realworld laboratories and facilities to ensure technology stays on the path to commercialization. TEEX PDC can develop methodologies, recruit subject matter experts, and develop partnerships to assess, test and evaluate products. It provides unbiased assessments to help develop and test products, as well as deliver it to market.

Hazard Recognition for Turnarounds

By John Baker, Total Safety Certified Industrial Hygienist

These are the “Top Ten” most frequently cited OSHA standards for the past year:

  1. Scaffolding
  2. Fall Protection
  3. Hazard Communication
  4. Respiratory Protection
  5. Lock Out/Tag Out
  6. Electrical, wiring
  7. Powered Industrial Trucks
  8. Ladders
  9. Electrical, general
  10. Machine Guarding

Let’s take this list of OSHA standards and translate it into the actual hazards and how to recognize them in the workplace to prevent accidents and ensure compliance. What should you look for to prevent the top ten OSHA citations during turnarounds?

Scaffolding is the most frequently cited standard, followed by fall protection. We must be sure that each scaffold has a current, daily inspection tag, proper handrails and toe boards, and is erected on a level, firm surface. If a scaffold is more than four times taller than it is wide, is it secured to keep it from tipping over? Fall protection for construction is required for working six feet or more above ground level. Are your anchor points strong enough? They must hold 5,000 pounds for each person attached to them. Are your harnesses inspected prior to every use to be sure that they are free of defects? Where are floor and wall openings – are they guarded? Where are holes that tools, parts, aerosol cans or hot material could fall through? Are they covered and marked?

Do you have all the Material Safety Data Sheets for the welding rods, paints, adhesives, abrasive media, catalysts, and are they reviewed in everyday language by the supervisor before the craft people use them? Are containers labeled with the name of the contents and all warnings?

Has a lock out/tag out system been set up for each area where energy must be neutralized to allow safe work? Are there alternative pathways for electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic or any other sort of “stored energy” to activate equipment?  Can you confirm that all these alternative energy sources been locked out?

Electrical wiring must be inspected to be sure it is free of nicks, kinks, frayed insulation and that the plugs ensure a good ground connection. OSHA requires 3 wire cord sets, not “ribbon” 2 wire cords. Excessive use of cords should be avoided and temporary wiring should be securely fastened every 10 feet and protected from physical damage. Are conduit fittings and junction box covers securely attached and breaker boxes and panel covers closed? Are there enough ground fault circuit interrupters available and have they been tested to make sure that they will work when needed. Are electrical outlets overloaded? Never force a circuit breaker to stay on as this could over draw an electrical device and cause a fire.  OSHA considers 600 volts or more as “high voltage”: make sure that any exposed live parts are guarded and posted with warning signs forbidding unqualified personnel entry or access. Assume that all overhead power lines are energized and keep at least 10 feet away from them.

Have all the appropriate people had forklift driving training? Are inspections done before each work shift when the forklifts or other industrial trucks are used? No one should be riding on the forks or anywhere else other than in a seat with a proper seat belt.

Are ladders inspected to be sure that rungs and steps are free from grease or oil, and joints between steps/rungs and side rails are tight? Are all hardware and fittings securely attached? A portable ladder should be angles so that its base is one-fourth of its working length from the vertical and at least 3 feet should project over the landing to be accessed.  Ladders must not be placed in boxes, barrels or other unstable bases to get additional height. No one should be standing on the top step of a step ladder. A rope should be used to raise or lower loads. Nothing should be carried in the hands while climbing a ladder.

Machine guarding in the shops is as important as the more visible hazards in the process units. Have existing guards been modified or removed? Rotating shafts and tools; saw blades, grinders, and other equipment with unprotected points of operation should have guards, interlocks or some means of keeping hands and body parts out of danger.

These are just a few of the most common hazards to look for related to the top 10 OSHA citations.  See how many more you can find at your job site. These tips are just the tip of the iceberg!

For more information about occupational hazards, feel free to contact us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Industrial Hygiene Elements of a Successful Turnaround

By John Baker, Total Safety Industrial Hygienist

Previously, Total Safety has emphasized the importance of including the need for IH resources during the planning of the turnaround to ensure that the exposure of employees (and possibly contractors) to airborne chemicals, silica, asbestos, noise, heat, radiation and other health hazards is monitored and controlled.

Pre-planning is essential for a successful turnaround because the specialized equipment and materials needed to test or detect certain materials and physical hazards may not be available on a moment’s notice.  This is especially true for a chemical plant turnaround that may require testing for aldehydes, amines, cyanides or other chemicals not typically tested for in refinery turnarounds. Filter or sorbent media that are pre-treated with specific reagents are necessary to monitor for aldehydes, ketones  and amines. Pesticide manufacturing plants typically require specialized testing and lab procedures to properly measure the materials of interest. Some materials, such as certain isocyanates, require the samples to be refrigerated and analyzed in the laboratory as soon as possible for accurate results. Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon air samples should be wrapped in foil and shipped refrigerated by overnight delivery to prevent degradation by sunlight and elevated temperatures. Testing for hexavalent chromium fumes while welding, cutting or arc gouging on stainless steel or high temperature alloys requires different filters and lab testing than for welding fumes on common steel. Chemicals that have high ionization energies, such as methanol or sulfur dioxide, may not be detected by a typical hand held or area photoionization detector, so a modified or different type of instrument would need to be used in that case.

Another point to be clarified well before the turnaround begins is the scope of work regarding confined space entry permits and hot work permits. Just because an IH technician is walking through a unit on the way to an assignment does not mean that he or she is under contract or allowed to “sniff” a space and “sign off” on a confined space or hot work permit. Generally, a supervisory employee of the owner or operator of the refinery or chemical plant is the person with the knowledge of the process and the equipment, and therefore, the associated hazards, who should be responsible for the final sign off on such permits. If this is not clarified at the planning stage, it could cause undue delays and confusion during the turnaround itself. The ventilation of confined spaces is another aspect of turnarounds that benefits from detailed prior planning. The location of the intake of the air supply must be in a clean, uncontaminated area, and the exhaust should likewise be directed away from workers, trailers or areas used for plant traffic. Be careful where “vac” trucks are discharging their exhaust as well.

Thought should also be given to which pre-turnaround activities need as much or more IH scrutiny than the maintenance, repair or replacement work itself. Some of the greatest potential for exposure occurs while units are being brought down and drained and purged. The potential for oxygen deficient atmospheres when nitrogen purging, or reactions of residues when using high temperature steam, should be considered and appropriate monitoring and PPE provided.

Thinking ahead and communicating in detail with the turnaround’s project engineering team about what, when, who and how of each work task will ensure that the IH resources committed to the turnaround are available when and where they are needed.

For additional information about pre-planning for your turnaround, contact us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety Partners with Application Factory, Now Exclusive Distributor for DangerTags

DangerTags Lockout Tagout Automation SystemMarch 21, 2012 – Total Safety, the leading global industrial safety services company based in Houston, Texas, has partnered with Application Factory to become their exclusive distributor for DangerTags Lockout/Tagout (LOTO) Automation System, a proprietary lockout/tagout software and hardware system that allows for the automation of the lockout/tagout process.

“We are excited to be able to offer this unique and advanced solution to our refining, petrochemical, and all our other industrial and energy customers and look forward to introducing it at the upcoming OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) conferences in the coming months,” noted Mark Barker, vice president of global sales at Total Safety.

The DangerTags LOTO Automation System is Web-based, WiFi-enabled Windows® compatible lockout/tagout software designed to increase efficiency in creating complete and accurate lockout/tagout packages that include tags, field lists and associated documents, to help companies meet OSHA safety requirements by reducing lockout/tagout inconsistencies caused by manual processes and handwritten tags.

The DangerTags LOTO Automation System allows for the effective and efficient management of OSHA lockout/tagout compliance concerns. The system eliminates the opportunity for inadvertent or unapproved changes to lockout/tagout procedures through security controlled access for two distinct user groups: day-to-day users and administrative users.

Day-to-day users have everything they need to efficiently perform energy isolation duties but cannot alter procedures. Administrative users are given powerful data management tools and full rights to define and alter energy isolation procedures. The DangerTags application, used to its fullest extent, helps fulfill all of the requirements of the CFR 29 Section 1910.147 by putting in place an energy control program that enforces corporate standards, documents processes, prints OSHA compliant lockout/tagout tags and automatically generates reports for periodic reviews and audits.

About Total Safety
Total Safety, a Warburg Pincus portfolio company based in Houston, Texas, is the world’s premier outsourced provider of integrated safety and compliance solutions and the products necessary to support them. As the global safety solutions leader, Total Safety provides services and products to support: onsite safety, turnaround safety, gas detection, respiratory protection, rescue, safety training, fire protection, safety compliance and inspection, industrial hygiene, onsite emergency medical treatment/paramedics, communications systems, engineered system design and materials management. It operates from more than 134 locations in 18 countries to ensure the safe Wellbeing of Workers Worldwide (W3).

About Application Factory
Application Factory, Inc. is a software development firm providing custom and packaged solutions to Fortune 500 petrochemical companies.

For additional information and inquiries, contact:
Stenning Schueppert
Vice President – Strategy & Corporate Development, Total Safety

Keith Davis
President, Application Factory

Managing Industrial Hygiene Issues in the Proactive Mode

By Mandy Sunderland, Sr. Industrial Hygienist, Total Safety

Perimeter Monitoring with AreaRAE Steel
In a proactive mode, all incidents are considered preventable, as opposed to being random and unavoidable

One of the biggest challenges facing safety and health practitioners today is ensuring that their companies operate in “proactive,” rather than “reactive,” mode. In reactive mode, an injury occurs, and an investigation is conducted to find out what happened and who to blame. Recommendations are made to address the specific incident, and corrective actions are often taken without understanding or addressing underlying system causes. This is an expensive way to operate, since corrective actions are initiated only after incidents have occurred.

Emergency response, by its nature, is reactive. Early in a response, immediate action is often required in the face of unknowns and uncertainties. The goal in an emergency is to shift from reactive response to systematic management of the incident. Advanced planning addresses a wide range of scenarios, identifies resources, training and drills. It will ensure that the equipment and resources can be obtained as quickly as possible, personnel are prepared with drills and training, and that additional staffing requirements are identified and contracted in advance so that the response effort is less frantic and more systematic.

Complacency also leads to being reactive. Well designed exposure monitoring plans fall out of date and are not refreshed. Recommendations from exposure surveys or incident investigations are not closed out and, over time, possibly forgotten. New employees don’t receive adequate training not only on equipment, but on risks and protective measures. Experienced workers take shortcuts and develop bad habits, which become normalized as “how we get it done here.” Operating processes change and new exposure hazards that are introduced to the workplace are not recognized and addressed. Failure to recognize these gaps and take proactive steps to refresh plans, knowledge, skills and training, leaves little choice but to operate in a reactive mode.

Leading an organization to a proactive approach
The ultimate goal of industrial hygiene (IH) professionals is to successfully guide their organizations into operating in a proactive made, but that’s not always easy to do. One of the biggest obstacles is the lack of knowledge and understanding by management of the risk associated with operations, and the appropriate steps needed to mitigate these risks. Given a full understanding of risks and consequences, most managers will make good, proactive business decisions to prevent incidents.

In a proactive mode, IH professionals devote their time and energy into understanding hazards and risks, and taking actions to prevent injuries and exposures. Potential exposures should be analyzed to determine risk and identify which controls can be used to prevent incidents. Resulting recommendations related to corrective actions and system improvements should be implemented prior to an injury or illness occurring. In a proactive mode, all incidents are considered preventable, as opposed to being random and unavoidable.

Getting the biggest bang for your IH monitoring bucks
All too often, facility management has fallen back on the same old IH sampling plan year after year. A facility without a clearly thought out, up-to-date plan to assess their workplace exposures, may sample unnecessary materials, bringing with it a false sense of security. This can occur when changes in operations, processes or materials are not recognized and evaluated. Monitoring the wrong exposures increases cost and decreases true exposure knowledge. In addition, it may become difficult to maintain compliance with regulatory standards, including ACGIH and OSHA regulations.

Sometimes a facility will opt to require respirators or personal protective equipment (PPE) to reduce or control worker exposures. These types of measures far too often become a permanent control measure, but, in the long run, are expensive and difficult to maintain. Often an experienced industrial hygienist can suggest permanent simple fixes that are inexpensive and easy to maintain.

Furthermore, other programs that depend on the results of your IH monitoring, such as medical surveillance, hazard communication, respiratory protection and PPE, and exposure control (ventilation) programs, may also suffer.

Including IH in your turnaround planning
During a typical plant turnaround, a large number of people work together to repair and recharge complex equipment against a tight schedule and budget. Turnarounds require a high degree of planning, scheduling and coordination, so that the right combination of equipment and personnel are available when needed.

Many turnaround plans focus on mechanical and maintenance aspects and neglect to include critical support services that help to keep activities on schedule. These support items may include safety training and management, industrial hygiene monitoring, lead and asbestos testing, perimeter monitoring and environmental monitoring. Inadequate planning for HSE support can cause unanticipated delays, resulting in increased cost, anxiety and setbacks.

Turnarounds often present significant exposure potential to hazardous chemicals not encountered during normal operations. When normally closed vessels are opened up, bundles and exchangers may be pulled, and catalysts replaced. As these jobs are not routine, sometimes only inexperienced workers are available, who require more training and supervision that are potential costs and delays of the critical path.

Protecting your employees’ hearing
High noise levels on the job can result in hearing loss, as well as physical and psychological stress in the workforce. Excessive noise exposures also take a bite out employers’ pocketbooks, as they financially compensate workers. If worker exposure data and audiometric test records are not well managed and maintained, it can be difficult to make connections between exposures and symptoms of hearing loss. It is always preferable to reduce noise at the source through engineering controls, but lack of a “comprehensive hearing conservation program,” as required by OSHA, can make it difficult to analyze and implement appropriate controls.

Protecting your employees from NORM
Exposure to radiation can result from natural sources, such as Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM), and not just from industrial equipment, such as material level and thickness gauges, testing equipment that contain radioactive isotopes or X-ray inspection devices, and electron microscopes.

Certain industrial processes tend to concentrate NORM and bring workers into situations of more direct or prolonged exposure and increase risk from ingestion, inhalation or absorption of radioactive materials. In the oil and gas business, NORM often flows to the surface as a by-product of oil and gas production and concentrates as scale, sands and sludge on production strings, flowlines, pipelines and production equipment.

NORM materials may then be encountered during routine maintenance, refurbishment activities and replacement operations. Disposal, reuse and recycling of NORM can cause occupational exposures as well. Improper handling and maintenance of industrial radiation sources can also lead to elevated exposures. Health effects from exposure to radiation may occur shortly after exposure or may be delayed for months or even years, which can make it difficult to track.

Ensuring health protection during an emergency
Natural and man-made disasters present costly challenges for industry today. A large scale disaster can disrupt or shut down business operations, cause physical or environmental damage and release hazardous materials that threaten the health of employees and the public.

Lack of proactive IH sampling plans during emergencies for exposures, both inside and outside the fence, can result in workforce and public anxiety and increase potential liability and unwanted media attention. Failure to communicate a clear understanding of what happened, what the potential exposures are, related exposure standards and potential health effects can destroy credibility.

With all the challenges that we face as leaders in the HSE field, we understand the importance of focusing energy on key issues in the workplace today and taking steps toward working in the proactive mode as regular operating practice. Once accomplished, we can provide leadership and direction to the workplace, bring vitality to the practice of IH, facilitate industry to adapt to ever challenging situations and save money! 

Total Safety Enters Industrial Hygiene Services Business

Houston – August 25, 2009

Total Safety, the global leader of integrated industrial safety services and equipment, is expanding into Industrial Hygiene Services and will provide comprehensive solutions for exposure monitoring, hazard and risk assessments, respiratory protection programs, ergonomic assessments, indoor air quality, asbestos, and lead and mold monitoring. In addition, Richard Matherne, CIH, has joined Total Safety as Manager of Industrial Hygiene Services. Richard has over 30 years experience as a Certified Industrial Hygienist in the petrochemical industry.

“We are excited to enter this new line of business, and Richard’s experience and knowledge will ensure we will continue to meet the needs of our customers,” said Paul Tyree, Vice President of US Operations.

Total Safety also offers customized safety services built around each customer’s specific requirements, including:

Learn more about Total Safety’s entire line of industrial safety services & equipment by calling us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety Releases All New 2009 – 2010 Products & Services Catalog

Houston – July 27, 2009

Total Safety, the global leader of integrated industrial safety services and equipment, announces the release of its new products and services catalog. This nearly 200-page, full-color catalog showcases thousands of safety products, equipment and safety services gathered from around the globe.

State-of-the-Art Safety Equipment

“The goal of this publication was not only to feature top brand products and services, but to provide a comprehensive guide for all the latest in cutting-edge safety services and equipment. Total Safety’s catalog represents the world’s best safety products all in one centralized place to make our customers’ jobs easier and to keep them safer,” said Charles Ripoll, Total Safety Executive Vice President of Marketing and Business Development.

Each of the seven main sections features products and services that are for rent and/or direct purchase. The seven sections include:

“While the catalog is very in-depth with an extensive listing of products and services, the catalog is easy to read which makes ordering very simple. As an added feature, we included industry resource guides to help customers make educated decisions about the appropriate safety equipment they’ll need for their particular requirements,” said Paul Tyree, Total Safety Vice President U.S. Operations.

Catalogs can be ordered by calling 888-448-6825 or online at

Online Catalog

Scheduled to debut in September, Total Safety is launching an e-commerce version of the catalog where products and services will also be available online for purchase or rent.

“We understand that different customers want different options when it comes to ordering their safety products and services. Our e-commerce catalog will feature all the services our customers expect in a way that’s perhaps more convenient for them,” said Ripoll.

Find out more about how Total Safety can provide your company with a complete line of industrial safety services & equipment by calling us at 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!

Total Safety Welcomes Wholesale Radio Rental, Inc. to the Family

HOUSTON– January 5, 2009

Total Safety U.S., Inc. has acquired the assets of Wholesale Radio Rental, Inc. as of January 5, 2009. Wholesale Radio Rental, Inc. provides portable communication devices for use in the petroleum, oil and gas and petrochemical industries.

“We are very pleased about the management team and skilled employees of Wholesale Radio Rental joining Total Safety. The addition of Wholesale’s team and assets allows us to expand on an existing service line and more strategically and effectively provide safety and communication solutions to industry,” said David E. Fanta, President and CEO, Total Safety.

For over 15 years, Wholesale Radio Rental has provided intrinsically safe, portable communication systems to a wide variety of industries concentrating primarily in the energy sector. Applications include maintenance shutdowns, turnaround services and unit start-ups. Wholesale Radio Rental has four locations – Houston, TX, Sulphur, LA, Baton Rouge, LA, and Benicia, CA.

“Total Safety is the perfect partner for us,” said Jimmy Foret, owner, Wholesale Radio Rental. “Their commitment to safety and customer service is something we wholeheartedly believe in, and being part of such a dynamic team is something we look forward to. This will be a benefit to our customers and employees.”

Learn more about how Total Safety can provide your company with industrial communication service solutions by calling 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!