Preventing Common Industrial Boiler Maintenance Accidents

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Any occupation comes with hazards, including industrial boiler maintenance. Some of these dangerous possibilities are obvious while others linger in the background. When it comes to the boiler maintenance industry, potential hazards vary greatly. Boiler technicians, and those who keep them safe, need to be aware of potential dangers at all times. You should know that industrial boiler maintenance and repair work is fast paced. Operations require quick and efficient work in extremely challenging environments. Technicians are exposed to heat, falling risks, and eye hazards, as well as prolonged periods in small spaces. A safety plan should be developed to deal with these potential hazards.

Danger from heat exposure

Industrial boilers generate a tremendous amount of heat. The residual heat within a boiler after it has been shutdown can still cause discomfort. Human bodies make self-adjustments to deal with varying conditions. However, when excessive heat is present, the body may have difficulty adapting to the change. Too much heat can cause fainting or even a deadly heat stroke. Safety coordinators need to develop a site-specific plan to monitor heat stress for their industrial boiler maintenance technicians. Ensuring that all workers are well hydrated and have plenty of cool-down time should be top priorities.

Potential for falls

Boiler maintenance requires working from heights several times a day. Fall protection should be a primary concern when figuring out a safety plan. A fall from even 20 feet can cause catastrophic injuries or death. Making sure your technicians have fall protection equipment, supervision, and training can reduce the chances of these devastating incidents.

Eye hazards

Industrial boiler maintenance technicians are subjected to dust, flying particles, and other hazards. Strong drafts can send particles under the edge of standard safety glasses. These particles can embed in a worker’s eyes. This problem is so prevalent that the most frequent injuries that occur during boiler maintenance are caused by foreign bodies in the eyes.

With upgraded eye protection, your technicians should never have to remove objects from their eyes. Spoggles are an invention similar to swimming goggles that can be worn during grinding, deburring, and working in any confined spaces where airborne particles are present. These upgraded goggles can prevent debris from entering the eyes.

Withdrawing from confined spaces

Industrial boiler maintenance involves working in small spaces with limited means of entry and exit. In these small spaces, injuries and accidents are magnified as they are difficult places for first-aid and rescue efforts to occur. Also, some small spaces can become filled with gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide.

Confined spaces should contain alarm devices which are triggered when dangerous atmospheric conditions begin to occur. These confined spaces should require permits for entry and should list every possible hazard and the controls in case one happens. Consider a designated entry supervisor for each of the spaces. This person should log the entry and exit of each industrial boiler technician working in the confined area.

If you need help with boiler maintenance, contact the experts at Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc in Amarillo, Texas. Our experienced industrial boiler technicians can assess, maintain, repair, or replace your boiler system safely and efficiently. You can reach us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us by email to learn more about our heavy industrial, residential, and commercial services. You can also stop by our office at 404 S. Hayden St. in Amarillo, Texas.