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Occasions When to Carry Out Risk Assessment in Oil Refineries

safety management

It is crucial for all companies, especially the oil refineries to carry out occasional risk assessments on their premises. Conducting the activity ensures that everyone and all the activities happening within the premises are safe. It helps prevent accidents, ill health, and other unnecessary effects such as financial costs and legal reasons. Nonetheless, there is no fixed period to conduct risk assessments and below are occasions when to carry out risk assessments on your premises.

Alert Others to the Presence of a Hazard

Impacts such as explosions mostly occur as an accident and it may be somewhat difficult to determine one or eliminate its risk. Explosion can create substantial damages to the premises and even burn down the company equipment beyond recognition. In some cases, they collapse structures, cause deaths, and trap people in collapsing structures. Accidental explosions are mainly caused by unconfined or even confined vapor cloud and contain significant amounts of pressure.

Record all the actual and potential exposure of your employees and also the measures and procedures necessary to control such exposures. You need to provide your workers with safety equipment. Ensure that they have headlamps and flashlights, which come in handy in case they are trapped. Also, provide them with FR and non-FR headwear to prevent them from injuring their head in case the building collapses during the explosion.

When Fire Incident Occurs

It is standard for crude oil and its products to cause a fire when it escapes the vessels as well as pipelines. It is because of their intrinsic property and the presence of a source of ignition and eventually the presence of oxygen. While most companies may have the necessary protective equipment, fire incidences are likely to occur in the slightest of the opportunity. When it happens, it becomes inevitable to incur losses through damaged properties that can retard the operations of the business.

In case it occurs, or nearly occurs, one thing should be clear; there could be leakages or unsealed cables hanging on the premises. It should be a trigger for the safety team and management to engage in a thorough risk assessment to establish the cause of the incidence. Short-term and long-term actionable recommendations ought to guide the actions required to secure the premises.

While fire outbreaks might vary in intensity, it is vital for the safety team to adhere to the right dress code during the assessment. When it comes to covering workers for hazardous premises, oil and gas safety supply offers a broad range of gear ranging from fire resistant clothing, gloves, work boots, safety glasses, headlamps, and flashlights among others.

Before Commissioning a New Plant

Before you approve a new facility within the oil refinery, make sure that you review the previous accidents and health records. Compare the proposed designs with the relevant standards and the related deviations. Additionally, ensure that the operating procedures are strictly in agreement with the written instructions and provide your employees with respiratory and cartridges when installing or repairing any engineering controls. Cartridges will also come in handy when emergencies or other temporary situations occur within the working environment.

When Cleaning the Premises 

Trips and falls can happen to anybody including you, the employee, or a random client. Falls mainly occur when there is an uneven, slippery, or wet surface, and these accidents are very common within an oil refinery. Such accidents can often be prevented by putting a clear signage on a wet floor or using materials that are not slippery during construction. Additionally, providing your employees and any visitors with fall protection can help prevent serious injury in the case where they trip and fall.

When Carrying Out Construction Projects 

When it comes to construction projects, your employees may be required to use ladders to reach higher levels. Consecutively, they can also quickly fall from a ladder, and it is estimated that 4000 such accidents happen every year. Since steps are used every day in oil companies, it is important that you ensure the employees to take any necessary measures and have the proper training to avoid falling off a ladder. Well, in some cases, accidents are inevitable and putting on protective equipment such as hard hats and accessories reduce the risks that come with falling.

On the other hand, subjecting employees to strenuous work such as lifting heavy objects can result in strains and sprains. As an employer, you should spare some resources and purchase some lifting equipment. You can also come up with instigating procedures to avoid such incidences. New technology, design developments, as well as revised standards come in handy when operating functions in the oil refinery.

When Getting New Employees 

In lieu with business expansions, companies employ new staff to handle the increasing scope of work. Some of them may not be familiar with the new working environment and therefore, it is essential for you to carry out a risk assessment before the employees do work which presents a risk or injury ill health. Record any significant finding as well as the detail of any member of staff is particularly at risk.

The analysis can help identify and prioritize risks and also develop risk measures. You can opt to provide the new employees with FR safety vests so that you can quickly identify them and take them through a thorough training to reduce accidents within your premises. Additionally, it is advisable for employers to review the risk assessments to ensure that the agreed safe working practices continue to be applied, and any new operation and additional types of machinery are taken into account.

When There Are New Installations

New plants in oil refineries can risk exposure to toxic materials such as asbestos, cleaning fluids, and aerosols. Such materials can cause harm in relatively small concentration over an extended period and can even result in long-term health conditions including respiratory conditions. Contact with asbestos can lead to mesothelioma, a type of respiratory cancer. Such an incident is rare and maybe somewhat hard to identify but in case it happens, it can cause harm to those on the site and those surrounding the premises.

You can only assess such a situation under particular circumstances. You may even require assistance from a safety specialist or an environmental consultant. Meanwhile, provide your employees with the right safety equipment including gas masks, safety glasses, gas monitors, and gloves to reduce the risk of exposure. Also, take extra care and ensure that you stick to the already set industry protocols and safety measures in case of exposure toxic materials.

On a Daily Basis 

Well, as an employer, you should not wait for an accident for you to rush and carry out risk assessments. Professionally, you should ensure that you make a habit of assessing risks on a daily basis because working in an oil refinery exposes employees to health hazards and most accidents are unplanned. Walk around your workplace on a daily basis as you look out for any potential dangers. Engage your employees and note the activities or substances used that could injure them or harm their health.

 

Before Conducting Major Repairs and Maintenance

 

Maintenance involves keeping the workplace, equipment, and the surrounding in right conditions. It includes carrying out many tasks including repairing, replacing, inspecting, and testing. It is important that you assess all the maintenance work before the employees begin the task. This is because maintenance can be dangerous and some of the activities taken by a risk assessment and other specific regulations. Additionally, ensure that the employees get the necessary equipment such as ear protection and shield and goggles, to protect themselves from any hazards.


Michael Snyder
Michael Snyder

Author