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10 fire protection tips in the oil and gas industry

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Working in the oil and gas industry comes with a range of risks and exposure to hazards, but of all the exposures, one of the worst is fire hazard which is detrimental to property, asset and lives.

Therefore, working in the sector requires proper safety standards and protocols.

Guarding against fire-related hazards in the oil and gas workplace is not only one of the most necessary standards but also a legal requirement.

Fire incidents can be catastrophic but can be curtailed if safety measures are taken. Here are ten helpful safety tips to hedge against fire incidents at the oil and gas workplace.

  1. Have a Fire Prevention Plan (FPP)

The importance of having a fire prevention plan cannot be over-emphasized. Also known also FPP, a fire prevention plan will help to curb fire hazards when they occur.

According to the United States’ Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, FPP should cover areas such as maintaining a list of all potential fire hazards, procedures related to waste materials that are flammable and combustible, procedures for maintenance, and tracking employee responsibilities for maintenance and addressing hazards.

2. Pay attention to fire-sensitive areas

Some areas on the jobsite needs special attention to prevent possible explosion. Safeguard liquid storage areas such as storage sites for bulk fuel, natural gas etc. by installing foam fire suppression systems.

3. Train Employees About Fire Safety

When it comes to ensuring fire safety, employee education is very key. Ensure employees are trained before they ever set foot on an oilfield, because wrong handling of equipment by workers can lead to fire outbreaks. In the same vein, employees should be trained on what to do when an explosion occurs.

4. Reduce Risks Posed by Motors and Vehicles

Oil and gas workers make use of equipment and engines to aid their work. These engines experience friction which makes them susceptible to fire outbreak. Measures should be taken to maintain the tools and equipment to reduce friction.

5. Use Gas Detection Equipment

What causes explosion sometimes could be tiny gases and vapor that might be hard to see. It is important to monitor these tiny particles to prevent possible hazards. It is therefore necessary to make use of gas detection equipment that will make them visible, in order to manage them well.

Gas detectors can be used to detect combustible, flammable toxic gases, and oxygen depletion. 

6. Organize annual fire drills

It is very important to carry out annual fire drills with employees to keep them in the know of what to do and where to go when a fire incident occurs. This is necessary because it helps the employees to know what to do in a case of a fire incident.

7. Install fire detection systems

It is very imperative to install fire detection systems in the organization. A fire detection system is an alarm system that receives data on, assesses and then responds to events reported by various fire detectors.

8. Monitor Flammable Liquids

A flammable liquid is a combustible liquid that can easily catch fire. However, it is not the liquid itself that burns, but the vapor cloud above the liquid burns if the vapor’s concentration in air is between the lower flammable limit and upper flammable limit. You should ensure your operation’s resource liquids and waste liquids are well managed, to avoid fire incidence.

9. Create fire escape routes

It is also key to create fire escape routes within the organization. These fire escape routes must be safe and have clear signs that would be understood by the employees.

The fire escape routes must also be planned in accordance with the local fire authority to ensure proper effectiveness.  

10. Appoint a fire warden(s)

A fire warden is a designated person within an organization who is allocated responsibilities to help support the ongoing management of fire safety, by contributing to the safety of people in the event of a fire evacuation.

Your workplace should have one or more people in charge of creating and maintaining fire safety procedures.

Hope you enjoyed this article on ways to better optimize your workspace and environment. The Oil Bloc is dedicated to having more interesting articles on ways to understand and flourish in the Oil and gas industry.

Source Zeteky OSHA OilVoice
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