In case you missed months’s webinar with Siemens on oxygen measurement in safety critical applications, we’ve put together some of the key points:
What is a safety critical application?
A safety critical application is one in which system failure could result in loss of life, significant property damage, or harm to the environment.
There are a number of critical applications that anyone in the process industry should be aware of:
- Thermal oxidizers are process units for air pollution control in many chemical plants. They work by decomposing hazardous gases at a high temperature and releasing them safely into the atmosphere. When thermal oxidizers are not working properly, they can be explosion hazards.
- A gas flare is a combustion device used in plants for burning off flammable gas released by pressure relief valves during unplanned equipment overpressure. The oxygen level in the flare gas must be set below that of where an explosion could occur.
- Inert blanketing refers to the layer of gas, typically nitrogen, that lays atop contents in a tank, container, or silo to reduce oxygen content in the vapor space, and ultimately reduce the risk of unwanted combustion. If the inert blanketing fails, there is a possibility of explosion.
Last summer, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducted an air quality survey at Union Station in Chicago. The results showed elevated concentrations of respirable particulate matter (PM2.5) in ambient air on train platforms and nearby streets.
PM2.5 is a mixture of liquid droplets and particles measuring 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller. These tiny particles can be inhaled deep into the lungs where they can enter the bloodstream and cause serious health problems. The risk is even more severe for youth, the elderly and those with respiratory conditions like asthma.
The addition to OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926 was designed to protect employees engaged in construction activities at work sites with one or more confined spaces.
A confined space is not designed for human occupancy. It has limited means of entering or exiting and can have a potentially hazardous atmosphere. Confined spaces may be poorly ventilated and, as a result, lack adequate oxygen or contain dangerous levels of toxic gases.
Before standard 29 CFR 1926, OSHA’s confined space regulations only applied to general industry. A gap grew obvious when the department of labor statistics reported most confined space fatalities were occurring during construction activities.
The new standard is very similar to the previous one, but applies directly to work in construction. It requires a permit to enter, pre-entry testing and continuous monitoring while inside the confined space.
While this new standard closes the gap in construction work, it leaves out one important component: maintenance.
This was how many conversations started while exhibiting at conference last week. OSHA released its rule for occupational exposure to respirable crystalline silica back in March and many are still looking to understand how it will affect their business and employees.
The new rule goes into effect on June 23, 2016 and most business will have between one to five years to comply depending on industry. The new standard reduces the permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air, averaged over an 8-hour shift. This is a reduction is two to five times lower than the previous PEL.
Late last year, TSI released an update to their FitPro+ Fit Test Software (v3.2) to further improve the efficiency of your respirator fit testing operations.
The updated software works with the for PortaCount Plus model 8020, PortaCont Pro model 8030, PortaCount Pro+ model 8038, and is compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, 8, and 10 operating systems.
Update your FitPro+ software to get:
- Real-time fit factor technology speeds testing time
- Automated step-by-step guidance eliminates errors
- Easy reporting and record keeping
- Above and beyond regulatory compliance