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Mitigate Injuries and Risk During a Refinery Turnaround

Refinery turnarounds are complicated processes on their own without having to worry about safety and industrial hygiene compliance. Numerous safety mandates need to be complied with, there is a heavy amount of liability involved in a turnaround, and industrial hygiene must be taken into account at every stage of the process. That includes testing, monitoring, and addressing air quality, asbestos, and hazardous materials.

A refinery turnaround also brings the potential for emergency situations where trained experts are needed to mitigate injuries and risk. When you add all that together, on top of the maintenance work that needs to be completed, you can be looking at an expensive package. Plus, it can be difficult to hire professionals in each one of those areas. Instead, it may be beneficial to look to a partner that can provide any or all of those services to address your specific refinery turnaround needs.

Safety Professionals Are A Must

Refinery turnarounds can involve several different working environments that may require specifically trained safety professionals to be on-site during the work. Every turnaround must meet OSHA mandates. Having a team of occupational safety and health professionals on-site will only help make the site less dangerous. 

However, there are other needs that can arise during a refinery turnaround such as the need to enter a tank, the use of hoists or rigs, working in confined spaces, and hole or fire watch professionals. To be clear, those are just a few of the challenges that occur during a refinery turnaround, as every job is different and brings its unique challenges. Hiring full-time employees for each of those requirements is expensive, and finding a partner that can address all of those needs can be difficult. 

While it can be enticing to cut corners and save money with an inexperienced safety team, the results can be disastrous. In our experience, it’s more effective to go with a team that understands and focuses on safety first and foremost. Having professionals on-site that focus on the safety of your employees means contractors and companies can focus more on the turnaround work. Then, at the same time, safety professionals can conduct the necessary inspections, audits, fit testing, and compliance assistance required to keep the worksite safe for all involved

Take Industrial Hygiene Into Account

Refinery turnarounds also come with industrial hygiene requirements for both the site and the employees involved in the work. Depending on the work being performed, those services can include environmental site assessments, groundwater monitoring, indoor air quality surveys and management, hazardous material management, and asbestos management

It’s important to note that much like the safety services, necessary industrial hygiene services for a refinery turnaround are unique to each job. That’s why it’s essential to communicate and plan with your industrial hygiene service provider so they can best understand your specific needs. From there, trained experts with experience in industrial hygiene can ensure facilities are not just compliant but proactive in preventing and responding to risk areas. 

While some companies may focus on environmental services or asbestos abatement, it can be beneficial to work with a partner that can do all of the above. Because while a turnaround client may be aware of indoor air quality and asbestos needs, they may be caught off guard by additional issues during the work, such as sound levels, welding fumes, or lead.  

Have Rescue Services At The Ready

When planning a refinery turnaround, it’s critical to have a rescue team on-site and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Organizing a chaotic situation during an emergency is difficult for those that have not done it before. And putting your employees’ safety in the hands of inexperienced emergency teams is dangerous. 

Having a partner you can quickly put together a plan of action and get the right personnel working towards the same goal is a must on any turnaround. Whether it’s a single outage that needs to be addressed or an entire rescue team that must be installed, SITEX can fill any emergency need. Our experienced team has deep expertise in rescue needs and can help address turnaround-specific challenges like confined space rescue or tank entry requirements. Those kinds of specialized needs require certified safety and rescue experts who have successfully worked on refinery turnaround teams in the past and continue to train and adopt best practices.

It’s never a good idea to leave your employees’ safety in the hands of inexperienced teams with the amount of safety, industrial hygiene, and rescue needs that can show up during a refinery turnaround. Contact us today to discuss your specific turnaround challenges and find out how SITEX can help you address them.

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