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Different Compliances in Regards to Clothing, Safety Gear

compliances in safety clothing and gear

Thousands of employees succumb to fatal injuries every year rendering thousands orphans, widows and widowers. Others are physically impaired by incidents that emanate from working in an unsafe environment with inadequate cover. While one cannot wish away the presence of hazards in the oil and gas industry, it is possible to mitigate the situation by making necessary installations eliminate identifiable risks. Once declared a safe working environment, employers need to equip the workers with sufficient PPE to protect them from pre-incident and post-accident effects.

As the oil companies widen their operations, OSHA requires them to enhance the safe working environment for the workers. Protection standards demand specific features that vary from one site to the other. On the other hand, technicians working in oil production need to wear FR resistant garments such as FR long sleeve pocket shirt, FR Reflective Coveralls, FR reflective Rain jacket; FR snaps closure work shirt, FR Denim work Jean and FR cargo pant among others. Also, FR hard hats, safety glasses, steel toe boots and Hydrogen sulfide gas monitors come in handy towards detecting hazardous gas levels in the drilling sites.

PPE is a simple bit of safety that oil and gas workers need to wear at their stations. The quality and safety features make the difference between durable and low-quality garments. It calls for the firms to understand the regulations that set out the requirements for all types of PPE before committing to the purchase. With oil and gas safety supplies, they are rest assured of high quality yet pocket-friendly products that give ample shield in times of need. In a bid to comply with the set requirements, it is vital to explore the industry compliance regulations that include: 

Eye and face protection

Over the years, thousands of people working in the oil and gas industry have been blinded by injuries related to the unsafe working environment. Most of these injuries could have been prevented with proper eye protection against physical and chemical damage. Several studies show that eye injuries costs employers about $300 million in medical expenses, compensation and lost production time. Eye protection must be given in sites where chemical, radiological, mechanical irritants and environmental hazards pose dangers to the staff eyes.

Based on OSHA standard number 1910.133 on PPE, the employer is liable for ensuring that all employees adhere to appropriate eye protection gear. The equipment ought to provide protection against flying objects, liquid chemicals, chemical vapors, caustic and acidic liquids and molten metal among other hazards. As if not enough, the management shall ensure that all affected workers wear protective gear that offers front and side protection that includes a prescription of the design.

With a pool of manufacturers and suppliers in the market, the standard requires proper marking of the PPE to identify specific manufacturers. In the cases where workers have prescription lenses, the PPE ought to provide enough shield without disturbing the position and functionality of the lenses. For those working in sites that exposés them to potential light injuries, the employer is deemed liable to ensure the protective equipment contains filter lenses that come with a shade number to reduce the impact. Additionally, they ought to comply with ANSI Z87.1-1989, ANSI Z87.1-2003 and ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010 among others.

The period before 2003 did not define the minimum coverage of the eye and face PPE. Nonetheless, the 2010 to 2015 standards represents minimum frontal dimensions, lateral coverage, and impact rated gadgets. For instance, frames meant for small head sizes need to cover in a plain vision an area measuring at least 34-millimeters and 33-millimeters in width and height respectively.  The latest versions come with specific performance and markings for equipment that claim to give protection against splash, dust, and droplets hazards.

Fall protection

Working in the oil production, refining and service subsector exposes workers to potential injuries that come from falls and falling objects. Falls remain one of the most prevalent causes of work-related injuries in the oil and gas sector. The risk is even higher when operating in deep offshore rigs or when working in muddy conditions. The nature of the products makes it a perfect ingredient for slips and falls when the pipes leak the hydrocarbons to the pathways and working platforms.

OSHA requires employers to provide fall protection for those working on elevated platforms of four feet to eight feet depending on the industry. The standards extend to those operating over vulnerable systems and machines to prevent possible falls. Companies need to cover all floor holes that workers can accidentally enter using rails, toe boards or hole covers. Additionally, a guardrail and a toe board come in handy towards ensuring safe working platforms on open elevated platforms.

While training the technicians is vital to prevent self-exposure, safe working environment lowers the cost of operations. In a typical oil refinery, it is possible to get spillages from the machinery sipping into the walkways and the hoisted floors. It calls fair housekeeping practices to maintain a dry surface and offering PPE to all at no cost.

Respiratory protection

Often, oil and gas technicians have to deal with dangerous gas emissions that may find their way into the respiratory organs. Working in confined spaces increases the possibility of choking by the gasses increasing the risk of falls and death. For this reason, OSHA requires adequate cover for all staffs working in areas where gas, dust, and particulate emissions are standard. Gas respirators help in monitoring gas levels while filtering chemical and physical impurities that could injure the delicate organs. Also, the gadgets assist in supplying clean air from outside sources in areas with a limited supply of oxygen.

The primary goal of using these devices is to prevent workers from atmospheric contamination caused by fogs, fumes, gasses, mists, dust, vapors, smokes and sprays. The law requires employers to supply the employees with respirators that are custom to the purpose when the situation demands. As if not enough, they are tasked with setting up and cultivating a robust respiratory protection program that specifies those that need to use the gadgets.

On the other hand, it is vital to understand that these devices come in different brands with each exhibiting specific limits and restrictions. For instance, tight fitting respirators need fit testing to verify the usability with or without facial hair. While some prevent you from talking, others are equipped with speaking diaphragms and electronic communication devices to enhance communication. You may consider training new users on the use, cleaning and disposal procedures to prevent further harm.

Protective Footwear

Oil drilling and servicing involve different types of machinery that may turn dangerous to the operators. With most of the drilling happening in remote areas, a steady transportation system helps move the product, drilling equipment and workers to and from the rigs. Risk identification and management remains the prime objective of the safety teams as they try to avert potential accidents. With complex machinery involved in the operations, technicians face the risk of trappings that causes injuries to the feet.

On the other side, working in high places and climbing ladders Calls for sufficient grip to prevent slips and falls that account for the greatest number of incidents. Steel toe boots such as Ariat, Thorogood, Dunlop, Oliver, and Muck help to avoid falls while protecting the feet against piercing and cutting objects. OSHA standard 1910.136(a) requires all employees to wear protective footwear in areas known to have rolling and sharp objects.

ANSI Z41 highlights the performance measurements and test procedures required all protective work boots. Manufacturers must conduct independent laboratory tests to determine the compliance levels with the set standards. The section defines the specific features needed for the work boots to be considered sufficient to protect the users. Some of the aspects include conduction, electrical hazards, and metatarsal and puncture resistance.

Michael Snyder
Michael Snyder