Best Practices | Design and Engineering | Safety and Regulations

Safety and Integrity in Engineering Go Hand-In-Hand at RedGuard

April 13th, 2023   |  5 min. read
Safety and Integrity in Engineering Go Hand-In-Hand at RedGuard Blog Feature

At RedGuard, we take safety seriously. It’s present and top-of-mind in everything we do. This includes the obvious things, like wearing PPE to protect ourselves while on the job, and the less apparent practices, like inviting team members to share stories about when they had (or observed) a safety-related near-miss that we can all learn from. It also includes safety practices that foster communication and thinking about your habits. Those are among the things we do every day to ensure safety.

Safety is also of obvious importance in our products and services.

Third-Party Engineers: Ensuring Safety and Integrity

We believe integrity goes right along with safety. That’s why another concept we often reference is “third-party.” This comes into play in our buildings and with our engineering services.

We believe testing our designs before they ever make it onto an oil and gas worksite is crucial. That’s why we’ve put our math and engineering to the test to prove that our steel blast resistant buildings are the best choice for safety. We used two independent teams of expert engineers for our last blast test. 

Transparency is a key part of safety, so when we test our blast resistant building designs, we publish our results and make them available to our customers and contacts. Our most recent blast test used 6000 lbs of ammonium nitrate/fuel oil, placed 173 feet from an anchored blast resistant building, and 193 feet from a few other structures. We also did extensive fire testing and analysis. 

When it comes to engineering services, we offer facility siting studies, process safety management audits, quantitative risk assessments, and structural consulting services, to name a few. We work with independent engineering firms that employee some of the industry's best blast and fire experts with years of experience in analyzing onshore and offshore structures. It’s important to us that we work with qualified and competent experts. We ensure the inspectors we partner with have the right credentials, experience, and track record. And then, we check their references and verify that they have the accreditation to back it up.

We do enough blast testing and provide enough engineering services that if we wanted to hire our own experts and have them join our team, we could, but we see an inherent problem in that.

That’s why we choose to use third-party, independent engineers.


The Benefits of Working with Third-Party Engineers

Third-party engineers bring an independent perspective to the testing and analysis process, which can help identify potential blind spots or biases in our own internal testing and analysis. They provide an extra layer of accountability and transparency, as the results of the testing are being reviewed and verified by an external party with no vested interest in the outcome. By working with third-party engineers, we can be confident that our products and engineering services are rigorously tested and meet the highest standards for safety and quality.

Think of the analogy of a doctor’s office. Imagine that you are feeling under the weather, and you see your family doctor. After a brief examination, the doctor diagnoses you with a cough due to a common cold, and he recommends that you take a specific brand of cough syrup that is only available in his office. He assures you that this cough syrup is the most effective treatment for your symptoms.

While you trust your doctor and appreciate his recommendation, you can’t help but feel a bit uneasy about the fact that he sells the product himself. You wonder if he is recommending the product simply because he will profit from it, rather than because it’s the best treatment for your symptoms.

To ensure the integrity of the treatment process, you decide to seek a second opinion from another doctor. This doctor also diagnoses you with a common cold, but instead of recommending a specific brand of cough syrup, he recommends going to a pharmacy for an over-the-counter product that will treat your symptoms. The doctor has no financial stake in the pharmacy’s products, so you feel more confident that his recommendation is based solely on what he believes will be most effective for you.

While this analogy may be hard to imagine in our industry, know that there are engineering and risk management firms out there that also sell blast-resistant structures. When they perform your facility siting study and insist that the kind of structure they sell is the only solution to your challenge, it’s time to take a step back.

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Avoiding Conflicts of Interest in Engineering and Risk Management

Similarly, potential conflicts of interest can arise when a company relies solely on internal testing and analysis. Without the checks and balances provided by third-party engineers, there is a risk of bias and a lack of objectivity in the testing process. If a company’s internal engineers are under pressure to meet tight deadlines or budgets, they may be more inclined to overlook potential safety issues or cut corners in the testing process.

Using third-party engineers, we can give our customers greater confidence and peace of mind that our products and services are of the highest quality and safety standards. This is particularly important in the oil and gas industry, where even a small mistake or oversight can have serious consequences.

Another benefit of using third-party engineers is that it allows us to stay up-to-date with the latest industry standards and best practices. The engineers we work with are experts in their fields and have a deep understanding of the latest technologies and techniques for ensuring safety and quality in engineering projects. By leveraging their expertise and insights, we can ensure that our products and services are always at the forefront of industry innovation.

We’ve also been able to foster relationships with other professionals in our industry, which can lead to new opportunities for collaboration and innovation. These relationships can be mutually beneficial, as we can share our expertise and insights with other industry leaders while learning from their experiences and best practices.

Building Trust with Customers Through Third-Party Testing

The integrity that comes with using third-party engineers is a critical component of our commitment to safety, quality, and integrity in everything we do. By working with independent experts with no vested interest in our outcomes, we can ensure that our products and services meet the highest standards of quality and safety while staying at the forefront of innovation and industry best practices.

Ultimately, the integrity gained by using third-party engineers helps us build trust with our customers and maintain our reputation as a leader in safety and quality in the industry.

Carreen Gibbons

Carreen Gibbons

Carreen Gibbons is the Communications Specialist at RedGuard. With a natural curiosity toward technical subjects and a love of learning new things, she writes content for the SiteBox Storage and RedGuard websites and spends her days learning new things about the industries that the companies serve.