Enhancing Safety for the Industrial Sector19 Jul 2021
Safety is hugely important for every industrial sector, but especially so for the petrochemical, power, oil and gas industries, where the potential for a major accident is ever present.
It’s unlikely that risk will ever be entirely removed from industrial operations but huge strides forward have been made in recent years to better protect those working in the industrial sector. According to the UK Oil and Gas Annual Report 2019, there were 21 fatalities in the oil sector between 1996 and 2007 but there were five between 2007 and 2018.
Two of the most significant risks and health hazards across the industrial sector include explosions/fires and working in confined spaces.
- Explosions and fires - Flammable gases and chemicals are often present on industrial sites. These present a huge explosion and fire risk. Even the slightest of leakages could have catastrophic consequences. The huge importance of industrial safety can be demonstrated by the Piper Alpha disaster in the North Sea in 1988, where 167 people tragically lost their lives as a result of a series of explosions. Since this - the world’s biggest offshore oil disaster - legislation has become far more stringent and fire and explosion incidents have decreased. Nevertheless, they still present a highly significant threat.
- Working in confined spaces - A number of people are killed or seriously injured in confined spaces every year in the UK. This happens across a wide range of industries, from those involving complex plant to simple storage vessels. Safety hazards associated with confined spaces include ignition of flammable vapours or gases. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) advises that a number of precautions can be taken to develop safe systems of work. These include the use of gas detection equipment and specialist lighting products.
Investment in Safety-Critical Equipment
At Sunbelt Rentals Industrial, we’ve invested millions in innovative equipment designed for use in safety-critical environments and to help facilitate shutdown and maintenance projects. The equipment in our industrial fleet meets all ATEX, refinery and power sector specifications.
Safety is a huge driver for Sunbelt Rentals Industrial - in fact, it’s our number one priority. Our mantra is that if it can’t be done safely, it won’t be done at all. For our people and our customers, nothing matters more.
Keeping our Customers Safe
Employers operating in industrial environments may need to protect their employees from fire and explosion risks, as governed by the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR).
When electrical equipment of any kind is intended for use in potentially hazardous areas, the equipment much be ATEX-certified. Our specialists can provide a wealth of information about what ATEX equipment is available and what areas it can be used in.
For instance, we offer a range of ATEX certified lighting solutions such as explosion proof lighting and slam lights designed for use in hazardous areas. Products available include the Site Bright M1 Series lights which are ATEX Zone 1 approved and are widely used for internal tank maintenance, petrochemical shutdowns and offshore area lighting.
We’ve taken a number of measures to allow our customers to enhance safety and we’ve purposely expanded our range of industrial safety equipment.
The detection of hazardous gases is absolutely critical for the safety and efficiency of industrial facilities and we’ve made significant investment in gas detection equipment which allows users to detect gas, protect personnel, analyse environments and mitigate risk-related delays.
We’ve also invested in safety and communications equipment such as ‘fresh air’ breathing apparatus for use in confined or heavily contaminated areas, cable and pipe locators, confined space access and height safety equipment.
Using the correct protection equipment is also vital in the industrial sector, as a real threat to work safety can be a lack of proper personal protective equipment (PPE). We offer a wide range of PPE to help ensure a better protected workforce.
To find out how we can help you improve industrial safety in your facility, please contact us.