Increase Safety During An Oil Refinery Shutdown
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Increase Safety During An Oil Refinery Shutdown

Safety is a top priority for every oil refinery shutdown. In order to prioritize safety during a shutdown, teams need to have a foolproof plan and the ability to flexibly address unexpected issues that may arise. If a team is seeing these challenges for the first time, their lack of experience may hinder the work and lead to riskier sites altogether. 

Teams working on their first shutdown may lack knowledge when it comes to layouts or equipment. It takes time to get everyone up to speed but doing so will ensure the safety of employees. Starting with a trained safety team that has experience in the oil industry is a great way to increase oil refinery shutdown safety and reduce risks and litigation. 


Focus on the Shutdown and Leave Safety to the Experts

Refineries are challenging environments that create safety considerations that must be taken into account. During oil refinery shutdowns, those considerations become even more important. Dealing with confined spaces, roof access, and other unique situations brings additional safety challenges that must be addressed.

The particular safety hazards of any given shutdown depend on the specific situation and the work being done. To mitigate potential risks, teams should be documenting issues that have happened in the past and team members should be aware of those previous problems. That can include:

  • Slips or falls that happen due to demanding work being done quickly or haphazardly.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals or other environmental hazards.
  • Equipment failing or collapsing during a shutdown due to weak structural integrity.
  • Heavy equipment collisions due to untrained personnel transporting machines.


These are serious hazards for anyone on-site and they are all more likely to happen during a shutdown. The complexity and cost involved in completing a shutdown in a timely and efficient manner is already stressful to deal with. Instead of adding more problems by trying to manage safety properly without the needed experience, why not turn to experts? SITEX can help refineries not only avoid these issues but create an action plan to follow if they occur.


Our Main Focus is Safety

Oil refinery shutdowns can have unique needs that don’t take place on a daily basis. That includes entering tanks, the use of hoists or rigs, confined space work, or hole/fire watch needs. These tasks can require specialized training and hiring full-time employees with the necessary training can be costly and time-consuming.  

Cost reduction is always top of mind during shutdown work. Keep in mind that an “affordable” safety team is likely an inexperienced one. Without the full understanding and focus that is needed to put safety first, shutdowns can have additional issues to deal with. Injuries and accidents on-site will only lengthen the shutdown process and ultimately cost the refinery more in the end. 

SITEX’s goal is to ensure that workers can go home safely every day. To make that happen, we provide occupational safety services from OSHA audits to hazard inspections and even tank entry supervisors or full safety staffing. We also provide IDLH and confined space rescue teams in the event of something going wrong during the shutdown. At the end of the day, a safety team’s focus should be the well-being of your employees.


Equip Your Team With Industry-Leading Gear 

Having the right equipment during a refinery shutdown can make a big difference in terms of employee safety. However, that same equipment is costly to buy and time-consuming to maintain. The last thing a team member needs is to deal with a broken piece of equipment during a stressful shutdown process. 

Equipment like tripods, retrieval devices, harnesses, monitoring and ventilation equipment, and supplied air systems need to be properly taken care of so they are ready when your team needs them. Instead of worrying about that equipment at the last minute, oil refineries can work with SITEX to rent equipment as needed. 

By working with SITEX, clients can rent the equipment they need without having to worry about whether it will work. This helps them avoid heavy investments in specialized equipment and personnel while keeping their focus on the shutdown work.


Outsourcing Can Address Shortages

Lacking the right kind of labor during an oil refinery shutdown will only lead to slowdowns and frustration. Plus, a company’s ability to stay competitive will take a hit when they’re lacking personnel required by OSHA or other mandates. 

Some clients we work with have some in-house safety personnel and only need to bolster their team with a few people. Others require more services and potentially a full safety team. Either way, outsourcing safety can bring cost savings and increase flexibility during shutdowns. That includes emergencies that lead to the need for rescue services that in-house employees may not be equipped to handle.

Outsourcing safety takes worry off the plate of our clients so they can focus on the work they were hired to do. For example, a contractor working on a shutdown should be able to focus on the tasks they need to complete and not the safety of the refinery workers if that isn’t their specialty. Luckily for them, that is SITEX’s specialty as we focus solely on the safety of your people. There’s enough going on during a shutdown, leave the safety to the experts.

Contact us today and find out how we can help make your next oil refinery shutdown a safe one.

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