It’s always better to be safe than sorry. This is an old adage that has held true for a reason.
Every day you are regularly putting safety first, even in little ways you hardly think about. You double-check your door is locked before leaving home, even if that means running back up the stairs. You always put your seatbelt on before pulling out of the driveway and ensure every piece of food you buy is clean and free from unusual smells. This safety protocol all but defines the manufacturing industry, what with so much product and people on the line. Smokestack demolition is one such area you can’t afford to complete partially.
Confined space hazards grow higher in the manufacturing industry. Here’s what you should do when your smokestack is showing signs of change.
The power plant chimney is one of the most iconic features of the manufacturing industry. Its function is to vent out smoke and pollutants as far away from workers as possible, all while trapping even more harmful chemicals so they can be disposed of properly. When this smokestack is compromised, be it through age or abrupt damage? Your first order of business is to apply for an industrial chimney inspection. According to studies provided by both the EPA and the Government Accountability Office, there has been a significant increase in American smokestacks taller than 500 feet over the past few years.
This has changed quite a few perceptions on the smokestack and what constitutes a properly maintained one. Given their increasing height, smokestacks are required to be lit so planes and helicopters can see them. Exhaust can still cover the lights, causing the lights to be established five to ten feet below the top. When in doubt owners will flood the smoke stacks with fixed searchlight projectors, as all it takes is one bump to send it crashing and potentially injuring several people. It’s a lot of work, but it’s more than worth it.
The manufacturing and construction industry remains one of the most dangerous around. With so many chemicals, heavy equipment, and high temperatures, it’s not hard to see why safety protocol is even higher. Between 1970 and 2015 there was a solid 80% reduction in workplace fatalities due to increasing elements like smokestack demolition and equipment replacement. The refinery smokestack is unlikely to be rendered obsolete anytime soon, so now’s a good time to get comfortable with the process. It could just mean the difference between life and death for many.
The most important part of a healthy smokestack is to inspect it regularly. Even if it appears fine on the surface? You could still have a hidden problem just waiting to erupt to the surface. Binocular inspections of smokestacks should be done at least once per year. Full height interior and exterior hands on inspections, however, should be done every three years. Brand new stacks should be accessed and inspected within a year of entering service, if only to ensure it’s meeting standard performance requirements.
Industrial chimneys are expected to have their workload increase. With the population increasing and several industries being shuffled around to suit new technological norms, the smokestack will be grinding all the harder. The Occupational Safety And Health Act of 1970 saw Congress establishing OSHA to better ensure the safest and healthiest working conditions today. These rules are always changing to adapt to new information, which means you should stay on top of the ball instead of assuming protocol. You never know when you might need smokestack demolition instead of smokestack repair.
Industrial chimney inspection is an important part of a safe world. How will you keep smokestack demolition at bay?