Electrostatic control has gained more importance as storage tank and terminaling operations report growing incidents of fires from various ignition sources in the flammable and combustible atmospheres, according to information presented at the International Operating Conference and Trade Show June 9-11 in Houston TX.
In this environment, a structured electrical safety program is an essential element to any company's overall safety program and requires commitment from all employees, said Michael Harris of Flint Hills Resources LP. "The statistics speak for themselves," he added. "This is not to be taken lightly."
Harris noted that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that between 1992 and 2002, there were 295 fatalities per year related to electrical hazards, 2,000 people per year suffered arc-flash burns, and 4,309 employees per year lost work time.
"An electrical safety program is not an option," said Dennis Neitzel of Avo Training, who moderated a panel on the topic at the meeting sponsored annually by the International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA). Neitzel noted that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates many electrical safety procedures and also supports those that have become industry standards.
More information about the ILTA meeting will be covered in the August issue of Bulk Transporter..