The oil & gas industry doesn’t just use flammable and combustible materials in development: the final product is also a fire and explosion risk. Even a small mistake can lead to grave consequences not only for workers and their workspace but life and property in the surrounding area and even entire ecosystems.
Reducing the risk of fire and explosion in oil & gas requires a holistic look at your operations and at your chemical safety plan, in particular. Consider these three strategies to help evaluate your fire and explosion risks and better manage oil & gas chemicals.
1. Update Your Fire & Explosion Risk Management Plan
The traditional chemical risk management plan is not enough to prevent fires and explosions in a petrochemical refinery plant or an oil or gas field. Fire and explosions in the oil & gas industry are system-based events and must be treated as such.
A chemical fire and explosion plan must consider not only the chemical itself (beyond the groundwork laid by the SDS) but also any electrical, mechanical, or human risks that may lead to a fire. Moreover, the risk management plan must work to attempt early detection of conditions that may lead to an explosion or fire. These may include a series of processes like inspections as well as technologies like geographic information system (GIS), heat detectors, and flame detectors.
2. Work Closely With Fire and Rescue Authority Operations
Your Fire and Rescue Authority operations will have training in attending to emergencies at or near oil & gas operations or in places where petrochemicals and their derivatives are present. They have their own generic risk assessments as well as local detailed risk assessments to work from during incident training and response. However, this work should never take place in a vacuum.
It is important to work as closely as possible with your local Fire and Rescue Authority division and learn more about their individual risk management plan. Mutual aid plans, where oil & gas companies supplement Fire and Rescue Authority operations, are also extremely beneficial in allowing emergency responders access to not only the correct equipment but also the training needed to respond to emergency events.
3. Reconsider Oil & Gas Chemical Storage
With fires having such devastating impacts within the oil & gas industry and its local environment, the right time to evaluate chemical storage solutions is now. Chemical spills or fumes in storage areas can cause a hazard that goes unnoticed until it’s too late.
Storing hazardous chemicals at gas and oil wells and in refinery plants is a challenge, both due to the chemical composition and the local environment conditions. As a result, customer storage that accounts for the chemical, use, and other required elements like pumps and drains, is a requirement for this industry.
At Safety Storage Systems, we are experts in hazardous chemicals and operations. Get in touch with our experts to learn more about COSHH store options as well as our custom chemical storage solutions for the oil and gas industry.