Monday, March 23, 2015

Tips for a Safe Refinery Turnaround

Refinery turnaround is a must for every oil refinery’s operation. Equipment and materials are updated or subjected to maintenance to enhance operational efficiency. This maintenance activity requires shutting down and even disassembling complex machinery, which can be dangerous for refinery workers and contractors. Follow these turnaround safety tips to reduce the chances of accidents:

Re-educate the people involved

Plant turnaround is done once a year only so don’t expect adequate retention regarding the safety measures. Re-educate employees for a refresher. Since this activity involves special tasks like piping installation, compressor overhaul and instrument calibration, it’s important to inform contractors, like fuel services, about your plant’s safety procedures, potential hazards, communication systems and chain of command.
Minimize hazards

Accidents can greatly impede your turnaround’s operational flow so you should include reduction of hazards (physical, biological, chemical etc.) in your safety plan. Set a schedule on which equipment to overhaul or dismantle. See to it that no high pressure, temperature or toxic chemical is present inside which could threaten the worker’s safety.

Establish a quality assurance program

Use a 2-part tagging system that works this way: After a worker finishes a job, the foreman takes a tag, inspects the work done then signs it for confirmation. He then gives the other tag to the quality assurance inspector who checks the work again and signs the tag to signal that the equipment is ready for startup. This system is one of the most popular turnaround safety measures used by many refineries


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