In any team project, it is essential that all members provide unbiased recommendations for the product or solution being developed. This is particularly important in situations where safety is at risk, such as in the oil and gas industry. It is imperative that the team responsible for creating the specifications to protect people from potential hazards remain neutral and unbiased. It is important that they remain separate from the manufacturing and selling process. This ethical separation is critical in ensuring that greed does not influence the solution developed.
This article was created for and originally published for the May/June 2023 issue of BIC Magazine. It is republished here in its entirety.
Building blast-resistant structures is an incredibly complex and challenging process. From designing and engineering the structure to sourcing materials and getting regulatory approvals, many steps require precision and attention to detail. That’s why it’s essential to get it right the first time. Whether you’re a contractor, project manager, or end-user, any mistakes made during the process can have serious consequences, including project delays, safety risks, and increased costs.
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.
This blog was originally published March 8, 2021. This is a quickly emerging and growing market, so updates will be made periodically to reflect current facts and additional products. RedGuard has had the good fortune to work in most of the major refineries and petrochemical plants in North America and internationally. We have appreciated doing our part to protect the lives of the workforce in these facilities.
Imagine working in a warehouse with a high volume of daily foot traffic. There are always people on the move, and projects to finish. There are occasional mishaps, materials get spilled, and they get cleaned up quickly (and lightly) because you're in the middle of a big project. You assume that regular maintenance will pick up anything you leave behind later. That is... if there is regular maintenance. Unfortunately, if the floors are not properly maintained, it might not end well. The floor's surface could become slippery, cluttered, or uneven, creating a dangerous environment for workers. Properly maintained floors are important to the safety, protection, and health of your staff.
The best way for companies to ensure worker safety and prevent accidents is to identify and control hazards on worksites. However, not all accidents can be predicted and prevented. In those cases, the best employers put in place protective mechanisms to keep people safe when the worst occurs. For example, to prevent injuries from worksite explosions, some hazardous sites have their team working in blast resistant buildings to avoid injuries and flying debris if a blast were to occur.
Performing a real-world blast test on a blast resistant building is one of the best ways to alleviate concerns about how a structure will react to a real disaster. No computer model can compare to seeing a building survive a blast with your own eyes.
Protecting employees from workplace hazards requires formal control mechanisms and detailed planning. The most effective way to accomplish this is to use a "hierarchy of controls," a step-by-step process that allows safety managers to choose all the relevant tools needed to eliminate hazards or protect employees from dangers.
The Great Resignation is the term that has been applied to the economic trend of members of the workforce voluntarily resigning from their jobs in large numbers. It started during the pandemic in early 2021 and continued into 2022.
This article was originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of BIC Magazine. Sometimes changes are made for length, or to reflect the publication's style guidelines. It is re-published here in its entirety.
When it comes to timelines for blast-resistant buildings, we often caution people that there are vendors in the industry that will claim they can finish a job within a questionable timeline - just to get the job. That leads to the question, “What is a realistic timeline to install a blast-resistant building?”
One of the most devastating petrochemical plant explosions in U.S. history occurred in 1989 when a petrochemical complex experienced a polyethylene leak, resulting in a flammable vapor cloud. Sometime after lunch, the cloud was ignited, causing a series of explosions and fires that killed 23 workers and injured over 130 more.
Protecting workers from on-site hazards is a complex task. However, soliciting hazard protection analyses and addressing as many risks as possible can protect workers, prevent fines, and improve a company’s reputation.
The old business adage to “under-promise,” so that you can “over-deliver” in order to delight your customers, is almost engrained in American culture. It’s the service that most of us expect when we are the customer. But unfortunately, it isn’t the service that is most often delivered.
Those who work in the oil and gas industry are often tasked with procuring blast-resistant buildings for turnarounds and protection. They often do so by comparing quotes and proposals from multiple vendors. This process is often referred to as RFP or RFQ.
Those who work in oil and gas are likely familiar with the concept of Request for Proposals (RFP), also referred to as Request for Quotes (RFQ). In fact, depending on where you work, you may have a set of standards to follow that each RFP must conform to, with rules for each vendor who submits a proposal or quote. And for other companies, each RFP may be different and customized depending on what you are seeking.
Being environmentally conscious or eco-conscious is defined as being environmentally aware and sensitive to potential environmental impact. If your day-to-day operations include storing, accumulating, or dispensing chemicals that could negatively impact the environment, it’s your responsibility to make sure that you are properly controlling those elements. Beyond just being a good steward of the environment, environmental compliance is a heavily regulated and monitored part of responsible chemical handling. Government entities like OSHA, EPA, NFPA, and most state and local governments all have specific standards that must be followed to avoid violations that could result in penalties and workflow interruptions.
Suppose you’ve researched different kinds of blast-resistant structures, like steel blast-resistant buildings, modular concrete blast-resistant buildings, or even blast-resistant tents or air shelters. In that case, you know that there is a lot of conflicting information about why you should buy one type over another. Since the beginning, our team has been in the blast-resistant building design business and has done its fair share of testing. They’re continuously upgrading and working on new methods of keeping occupants of hazardous areas safe.
This article was originally published in the May/June 2021 issue of BIC Magazine. It is republished here in its entirety and includes an opportunity to schedule a meeting with the writer.
A facility siting study analyzes the strength of buildings on the premises and their ability to protect occupants in the event of a fire or explosion. It is one of the components of process hazard analysis (PHA) outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
As a leader in the industry, we do a lot of blast testing on blast-resistant buildings. If you’ve watched our videos, or read our blog, you may have heard about “blast response” in terms of buildings. Which just means, what will the building’s damages be once the dust settles? Another related term is “human response.” In simple terms, it is also quite literal. How will a human body respond to a blast when it is protected by one of our buildings? What will its injuries be?
Once you have commissioned your desired blast-resistant building, it’s time to start thinking about the installation. With most of the build happening off-site, site preparation can happen concurrently. During the project management and the manufacture of a blast-resistant building, it is essential that you prepare your site for the new building and keep tabs on the progress of the project.
When it comes to blast-resistant buildings, you need to ensure the integrity of the building’s engineering in order to keep your team protected in the event of an explosion. We often think about safety, but do not consider how reliable our information and products are. An extremely important aspect of integrity you should consider is where the information about products or services you are buying comes from. If your blast-resistant building company relies solely on their in-house engineers, then you are not guaranteed accurate, unbiased information. Instead, look for companies that use third-party engineers who have nothing to gain regardless of the results. Keep this in mind when analyzing data, watching blast tests, and ultimately choosing your blast-resistant building. Another aspect to consider is structural integrity, which is an integral engineering tenet that ensures that a building or structure operates for the exact purpose it was designed. Structural integrity in blast-resistant buildings (BRBs) ensures that the BRB can support its weight, perform as expected, maintain safety, and minimize risks and hazards in case of accidents that result in blasts. Structurally sound BRBs are designed to prevent buckling and other forms of malformation for the length of its expected lifetime.
We understand the lengths that our customers go through to keep themselves and their team safe. We also know that sometimes the terminology around blast resistant buildings and their blast ratings can be confusing. Some readers might actually be reading this from the comfort of a BRB and wonder how it was determined to be a safe space.
In industries and environments where vessels, infrastructure, and buildings must routinely operate under conditions of high temperature and pressure, eruptions or explosions may occur unexpectedly if safety protocols are overlooked, equipment wears out, or another problem arises. To ascertain the structural integrity of these infrastructure elements under high-stress conditions – and to assess the effects on personnel working in such environments – manufacturer blast testing on structure designs is essential. In a blast test, structures and fittings in a configuration similar to standard working conditions are subjected to a controlled explosion under test monitoring conditions. The results of such a test can provide valuable information as to the safety or otherwise of current building standards and materials, and inform the wider industry on how improvements can be made, and best practices enforced.
For many years, RedGuard has been known for its blast-resistant buildings within the oil and gas industry. It started in 2005, after a tragic event in Texas City. At the time, the company was known for the steel storage buildings that it leased to companies for their rugged and spacious storage capacity. Because they had the infrastructure and capabilities already in place, they were asked to design a protective steel modular building. The goal was to protect people the way steel containers had protected the equipment on the site of that tragedy, when personnel had perished in simple work trailers, while tool shed containers remained intact.
Across a range of industries – oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing to name a few – facilities and infrastructure must routinely operate under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. Though professionals in these areas typically exercise due care and take the necessary precautions, incidents can and do occur, resulting in ruptures and localized explosions or blasts. Here, we explore why structural steel is the most suitable material for blast resistant buildings.
As the name suggests, blast-rated doors can withstand the force emanating from highly compressed air spreading outwards after an explosion. The doors are usually constructed using thick steel and come with features designed to withstand high pound-force per square inch (psi) associated with blast events. Blast-rated doors are categorized based on the psi they can withstand.
This article was originally published in the October 2020 issue of BIC magazine. It was written by Eric Rienbolt, one of RedGuard's subject matter experts and our Custom Projects Manager. On a daily basis, codes and regulations influence our activities. At their root, they provide minimum standards for safety, health and general welfare that allow us to safely carry out the various responsibilities we perform throughout our workday.
This article was originally published in the September 2020 issue of BIC magazine, but was edited for brevity. It is published here in its entirety. It was written by Bryan Bulling, one of RedGuard's subject matter experts and our Northeast Regional Area Manager.
The following article was originally published in the May 2020 issue of BIC magazine. It's published here in its entirety, including details that were edited out of the original article for space. It was written by Bryan Bulling, one of RedGuard's subject matter experts and our Northeastern US Regional Area Manager. While the use of blast-resistant buildings is widespread, there are still many in the industry who have not utilized modular buildings during outages and projects. Instead, they stage operations outside the facility and transport labor in and out.
If you’ve purchased a blast-resistant building, or even if you’re still in the bid phase considering your options, you may be wondering what happens once you send in the purchase order. Once the deal is done, is it just a matter of waiting?