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Tag Archives: Industrial Turnaround Safety Support Services & Equipment

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 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 Expands to Enhance Workers Safety

Houston – December 16, 2008

To meet the growing demand of safety service solutions, Total Safety opens 4 new service centers- Benicia, CA, Signal Hill, CA, Shreveport, LA, Tulsa, OK – and expands to new offices in Denver, CO and Sulphur, LA.

All Total Safety locations are equipped with expert service capabilities serving the industrial sector including the rental, sales and service of:

Total Safety also offers customized safety services built around each customer’s specific requirements.

“We’re expanding to meet the needs of our customers. That’s always our first priority- to keep workers
safe and companies in compliance,” said Paul Tyree, Total Safety Vice President, U.S. Operations.

New Locations:

Benicia, CA
518 Stone Road
Benicia, CA 94510
707.747.5879

Signal Hill, CA
2701 Junipero Avenue
Signal Hill, CA 90755
562.490.6800

Denver, CO
5590 Havana Street, Unit A
Denver, CO 80239
303.766.1501

Shreveport, LA (January 2009)
500 Flournoy Lucas Road, Building 5
Shreveport, LA 71106
318.671.8965

New Offices:

Sulphur, LA
3205 Metric Drive
Sulphur, LA 70665
337.708.2100

Tulsa, OK
1327 North 105th East Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74116
918.835.8242

Find out more information about Total Safety and any of our industrial safety services & equipment by calling 888.44.TOTAL.

Total Safety – The Best Minds in the Business!