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PPE hot liquids

PPE hot liquids

(OP)
Following two incidents in 6 months where staff have sustained burns from hot liquids I have been tasked with review of suitable PPE and suggested requirements/procedures. I would like to hear from other who work in any plant (eg pulp and paper) where hot liquids are transported. Our hot liquids and steam are generally non toxic and at about 98 degrees celcius although some of the condensate contains SO2 gas. Main causes of injury have occurred when opening pipes, flanges, valves etc which were not fully drained or depressurized , despite a permit having been taken out.
Thus I am looking for others best practices in choice of PPE such as gloves, face protection, body protection etc.

RE: PPE hot liquids

There are numerous "safety" firms out there supplying just about anything you might ever need. Do a Goolge and start talking to them.

RE: PPE hot liquids

PPE is the last line of defense for injuries. Review the man, materials, machine and method of where the accidents happened and propose changes which will eliminate the the possibility of the the accidents reoccurring.

Bill

RE: PPE hot liquids

Agree - eliminate the danger and protect...

RE: PPE hot liquids

(OP)
Hi Mike and Bill
Thanks for your responses.
When we open pipe flanges, man ways to tanks etc we do it via a permit to work system. Within that permit is a mini risk assessment and all the conditions for safe opening of the said flange or tank are listed.
These precautions include electrical isolations of pumps. air lines, various valves closed and locked off etc.
Even though a permit has been taken out, staff briefed etc, it is still a requirement of our company to stipulate PPE requirements on the work permit.
Occasionally problems do occur, slugs of product in the pipes, gas build up etc hence the requirement for PPE.
As well as best practices with PPE I am also looking to see what other operating best practices people use out there.
We used skilled labour such as fitters (maybe called mechanics is the US) which are qualified artisans to open these flanges etc. Perhaps other plants around the world use other labour such as plant operators. I am keen to see what others in process plants do and how they handle the risk of hot liquids etc

RE: PPE hot liquids

As in many industries there are many approaches for dealing with dangerous conditions. I used to work in the aerial device manufacturing industry where electric power companies did maintenance on power lines. In Europe they basicly eliminated the electrical danger by de-engergizing the power lines while in the United States they work on power lines energized. There is no PPE which can handle 100,000 volts. What is considered a non-conductor at low voltage gets bypassed by conduction through the air. Is PPE required? Yes, but it generally is used to avoid mechincal injuries such as fall protection with harnesses and decleration lanyards, gloves, helmets and safety glasses.

In your instance can you isolate the area being worked on from the system and letting the materials cool down? Thus reducing or eliminating the dangerous condition. This would reduce or eliminate the PPE requirements. PPE for short exposure of hot liquids would be gloves,helmet, face shields, boots and aprons. Hopefully these could be insulated however if the danger is live steam I don't believe there is acceptable PPE. A complete insulated environmental suit would also work but again is the risk high enough to justify such protection. I cannot answer that question.

RE: PPE hot liquids

Sounds like you have a procedure for isolation, lock out pumps and valves etc. Does any one perform a depressurisation check and indeed is the isolation challenged for potentially "bottling up" a section of line. Where there is hazardous liquid some insist upon double block with a bleed between the block valves to varify isolatoin is sound. The bleed can also b eused to verify the isolated pipe is depressurised. Although you must ensure that the bleed valve its self is not blocked!

Mark Hutton


RE: PPE hot liquids

HEC has the right method to deal with trapped hot liquids and that is to have bleed off valves. You should know that there is a safety requirement for bleed off valves between steam stop valves when there is a battery of steam boilers. When one of the boiler off line and is opened for an internal inspection or repairs, and the remaining boilers are still on line, the bleedoff valve on the steam line to the boiler that is off line,must remain open to release steam that may leak thru the valves.

RE: PPE hot liquids

For the problem you actually face - perhaps a proper LOTO but BAD actual "practice" because the workers are (repeatedly) opening hot, fluid-filled pipes, add a rule that says the pipe MUST be measured with a IR or contact thermometer and found to be less than 125 F degrees (50 - 52 C, or non-scalding) before opening the flange.

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