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The shocked incident happened on March 23, 2005, at BP Texas City Refinery's octane boosting isomerization (ISOM) unit. The blow down unit was vented directly to the atmosphere. A nearby idling pick up truck, caused the explosion and fires through the unit and the surrounding areas, killing 15 people, destroying 13 trailers, and damaging 27 others, some were parked 479 feet away. Safety standard of BP had always been very high on my list until 2005. The first question I asked was: Why was the pick up truck not fitted with a spark arrester? The next question was : why were the trailers allowed to parked at an area where combustible gas could present?
If this sort of accident can happen to BP, just how safe are all the other engineering concerns?
Less than 50% of the industrial accidents in most countries are ever documented or reported in the local media. If an accident happens, the victim is normally the one to be blamed and for the temporary workers, the employers simply terminate their service. Often, it is only when the nature of the accident which can not be covered up, that the accident is covered by the media.
One resident engineer openly said that he did not want to see accident reports documented because he wanted to show the number of accidents in his yard as zero for the whole year. Quick surprisingly, he was able to cover up all the accidents. No wonder there were cases where the corpses of illegal foreign workers were reported.
The safety officer must report directly to a government body and not to the resident engineer (RE), because the RE can bias against the Safety officer since the RE may enjoy substantial benefits from the contractor like getting free lifts every day from house to office and vice versa. Other benefits are normally the payment of the house rents, the laundry bills and the bills from restaurant. At the moment, in many Asian countries most safety officers only appear on paper. They are actually people who are doing something else for the employers.
Majority of our contractors still think of industrial safety as a burden and a waste of time and money. They must be educated to understand that industrial safety will actually increase their productivity and lower the production cost.
As the average education level of the workers grows higher, a day will come when many of these workers are able to sue the employers for damages like noise induced hearing loss, loss of eye sight etc. The subsequent compensation claims could be very high.
Non compliance must be treated severely and the responsible parties heavily fined in terms of money or sent to jail for an appropriate duration. Otherwise, the Government can not protect its citizens from unscrupulous employers.
Stop work orders must be issued for any non compliance audited. The construction yards or factories must be audited by the Government personnel at least once every two weeks. Containers which are meant for transporting cargoes must not be used as living quarters for the workers. Can you imagine how dangerous it could be for a 20 footer container, 10 feet wide, and 8 feet high to be used as a quarter for 12 persons? During an emergency, how do the workers escape, since there is only one door? I saw only one electric fan and there were seven persons with lighted cigarettes in that container.
All engineering courses in universities must include industrial safety as a compulsory subject and all undergraduates must undergo three month industrial training on Safety with local companies before they are allowed to graduate.
For the non graduate, a ten year industrial experience and a Secondary School Education must be the minimum qualifications a candidate should have before he / she Pandora Valentine's Day Collection is allowed to take an industrial safety course and to receive an industrial safety certificate. The industrial safety course must run for one year with every Saturday as a compulsory attendance for the candidate. The pass marks for all the papers must be 80% or higher.
The local construction industry must liaise more closely with the Government and the Government personnel must go more often to the yards to carry out more thorough checks. For example the local contractors use crawler cranes without safety certificates. But when the Government personnel went to the site office, the safety personnel were shown a bunch of certificates from somewhere else. If this sort of practice is allowed, then one certificate of fitness can be used for millions of equipment.
Safety cannot be learned in the classroom. Just like the best training for soccer is to go into the field and practise. Safety is best learned in the field. Of course the safety officer must be around to train the workers. It is his/her duty to assist the workers to identify the hazards, to take precautions, to prevent Pandora Be My Valentine Charm and to carry out the protection from those hazards.
The best trained workers are the ones having a good knowledge of the jobs, with good skills and experience. They are most valuable to the company because without them, the company will not survive.
Each new recruit must be informed of the company safety policies and he/she must be shown around the new surroundings. The places where written entry permits are required must be briefed and those places clearly indicated.
Every engineering concern must encourage its employees to audit/survey fellow employees on safety hazards and unsafe acts. Employees can also help to make their work place safer. For example, have you received enough training to effectively perform your job? Are all employees in your company tested for illegal drugs before his/her employment ? Ask your senior manager: Is safety important to him?
Unless contractors and their clients are prepare to accept the Pandora Valentine's Day Jewelry extra time and additional cost to buy that extra degree of safety, fatal accidents will keep on happening.
The minimum safety gears each worker has to put on every day are: safety hats, safety glasses, long sleeve shirt, trousers, and safety boots. For those working in noisy areas, the earmuffs or plugs must also be worn. For the workers working in dusty areas, the respirators (air filters) must be worn. These items are all provided free of charge. Any worker caught not complying would be given a first verbal warning. If he were caught again, he would be given a warning letter and told to leave the yard or worksite until he was able to come back with the appropriate safety gears. The same person if caught with the safety violation within the next 12 months, his service would be immediately terminated, and he would not be able to work in that company forever.
I discovered some contractors who used crawler cranes were using a bunch of certificates which were not belonging to the cranes on site.
Design of a wash trough must be approved by a government body and it must be functioning every hour of the day. It is no use having a wash trough, when it is never used and whenever the DOSH personnel come to audit the yard, they are told that the High pressure pump only broke down that morning.
The silt content at the discharge must be not more than 50 mg per Liter of effluent. Dissolved oxygen must not exceed 7 mg/Litre. Biological oxygen demand must not exceed 20 mg/Litre.
There were also cases of the stems of gate valves installed overhead with a less than 6.5 feet distance from the ground or platform. The safety hardness must be fastened to the lifeline and not to the handrails.
Workers working in areas where they could be combustible gas leakage, must have the areas gas tested first before they are allowed to do hot work there. The hot work permits must be re validated if the worksite has been abandoned for four hours.
Only qualified personnel should be allowed to certify an area is gas free. The instruments used must be certified by a qualified agency.
It is common for companies wanting to save time and money to say that the areas were tested gas free the previous day, and therefore they must be safe today. This sort of assumption can cost lives, injuries or property loss, and in one plant, a fire was actually started.
A fire watcher with proper fire extinguishers must be onsite until the hot work has been completed. You need to apply another hot work permit from the ship captain or the rig superintendent telling him the exact location on board where you want to do the hot work.