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?
What Qualifies as a Petrochemical Facility?
If you've ever undertaken a building/remodeling project, even a personal one, you know it is crucial to choose the right contractor. Substandard materials, unnecessary delays, and lack of compliance are just a few of the pitfalls you must try to avoid. Finding a blast-resistant building vendor is similar to hiring a contractor, except that the stakes are much higher. Blast-resistant buildings are a vital component in high-risk industries, so it is necessary that you take all precautions to keep your team safe. So, how do you know what companies are reliable and will provide you with the best blast-resistant building? Here are a few pointers to lead you to the right company.
Costing a project is not just about the price of materials. When mobilizing resources for a blast-resistant building, we need to consider direct labor costs, business disruption during the build, and even the cost of maintenance during the asset's lifespan. All factors considered, steel is more affordable than concrete for blast-resistant buildings.
When you embark on a capital-intensive project such as a blast-resistant building, information is power. Before you tie up your finances in a building, you need to understand your vendor's blast-resistant building process. In addition, you need to understand your role in the process. Below, we walk you through the timeline and planning of a blast-resistant building.
There's a reason why Superman is known as the man of steel, not concrete. Steel is pound-for-pound, the strongest construction material. Not only is it strong, but it’s also durable. To demonstrate, decades after its construction, a 25-story building in London, the Winterton House, was due for an upgrade. When they stripped it down, they found that its steel frame was still in excellent condition. So, with just a little extra support, they rebuilt the residential units for a fraction of the cost. A blast-resistant building is designed to withstand an explosion, protect the occupants and remain standing after a destructive event. Therefore, you need construction material known for its tensile strength to keep your building (and most importantly, your team) protected.
Are you a Facility Manager or Superintendent in the Human Factors Engineering (HFE), Oil and Gas, or Petrochemical industry? If so, then you know providing the optimal blast-resistant building is a necessity to guarantee your team's safety in the event of an explosion on-site. The building you choose must be well-tested and follow the American Petroleum Institute (API) recommended guidelines. You should consider safety during an explosion in order to limit the liability of workers during the construction of the facility itself. This can be achieved by selecting a modular-style blast-resistant building constructed in phases offsite and then quickly installed by a small staff. Using modular steel blast-resistant buildings decreases both risk and interruption on your facility. The two main options for building materials of a blast-resistant building are either steel or concrete. With everything mentioned above regarding safety considerations, steel is the most viable solution of the two, and we greatly recommend it for your own facility. Steel has major advantages over concrete when constructing blast-resistant buildings, which we’ll explore below. These are four main benefits steel provides over concrete when constructing blast resistant buildings.
This article was co-written for the June 2021 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering by members of the staff of RedGuard and RedGuard Specialist Services. It is republished here in its entirety.
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.
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.
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?
At RedGuard, we realized from the beginning that having a culture centered around safety just made sense. We create a product designed to keep people safe, to ensure that at the end of the day, someone working in one of our buildings is going home to their family, even if the unthinkable happens.
Developing good safety habits in a manufacturing setting, refinery, or other industrial setting is the first step in cultivating a culture where safety is the first priority. This is beneficial for legal reasons if you're the person responsible for ensuring the safety of your team, but, as a short-term benefit, you can watch for improved morale. The long-term benefit is improved workplace health and safety performance and a culture that sustains itself when employees embrace safety and set an example to new teammates. We sat down with Steve Crider to discuss these benefits.
Explaining TRIR and Why It's Important At RedGuard, we take safety seriously, even down to saying that safety is in our culture. One of the ways we measure that is our TRIR, or Total Recordable Incident Rate. This blog post was originally published in 2018, but has since been updated with current numbers. As a manufacturer of blast-resistant buildings, it makes sense that knowing our safety rating would also be important to our customers. After all, if a company won't share their safety rating and they make a product designed to keep you safe, you're already starting on the wrong foot. So, as you can imagine, "What's your safety rating?" is a question our team gets asked fairly often. Here's how we approach that.
Wichita, Kan. – Following an onsite evaluation of their Production Center and interviews with team members on December 6, RedGuard has been awarded a gold certificate from SafeStart, a behavioral-based safety training program proven to successfully reduce workforce injuries. The gold status celebrates RedGuard’s safety success based on achieving milestones for training, sustainability and integration of the program into the workplace.
On June 4, RedGuard elevated the blast-resistant building (BRB) industry to a new level — ISO 9001:2008 certification. After eight years of industry leadership, RedGuard’s management recognized the importance of this crucial next step toward making blast zones safer.