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The worst accident in the United States was the result of a boiler explosion.killed 1800 people.




The worst accident in the United States was the
result of a boiler explosion. In 1863 the boilers aboard 
the steamship Sultana exploded and killed almost eighteen
hundred people. The most expensive accident was
a boiler explosion at the River Rouge steel plant in February
of 1999. Six men died and the losses were measured
at more than $1 billion. Boiler accidents are rare
compared to figures near the first of the 20th century
when thousands were killed and millions injured by
boiler explosions. Today, less than 20 people die each
year as a result of a boiler explosion. I don’t want you to
be one of them. I’m sure you don’t want to be one either.
Safety rules and regulations were created after an accident
with the intent of preventing another.
A simple rule like “always hold the handrail when
ascending and descending the stair” was created to save
you from injury. Don’t laugh at that one, one of my customers
identified falls on stairs in the office building as
the most common accident in the plant. Follow those
safety rules and you will go home to your family healthy
at the end of your shift.
There are many simple rules that the macho boiler
operator chooses to ignore and, in doing so, risks life
and limb. You should make an effort to comply with all
of them. You aren’t a coward or chicken. You’re operating
wisely.
Hold onto the handrail. Wear the face shield, boots,
gloves, and leather apron when handling chemicals.
Don’t smoke near fuel piping and fuel oil storage tanks.
Read the material safety data sheets, concentrating on the
part about treatment for exposure. Connect that grounding
strap. Do a complete lock-out, tag-out before entering
a confined space and follow all the other safety rules that
have been handed down at your place of employment.
Remember who’s on the top of the priority list.
Prevention of explosions in boilers has come a long
way since the Sultana went down. The modern safety
valve and the strict construction and maintenance requirements
applied to it have reduced pressure vessel
explosions to less than 1% of the incidents recorded in
the U.S. each year, always less than two. On the other
hand, furnace explosions seem to be on the increase and
that, in my experience, is due to lack of training and
knowledge on the part of the installer which results in
inadequate training of the operator.
You must know what the rules are and make sure
that everyone else abides by them. A new service technician,
sent to your plant by a contractor you trust, could
be poorly trained and unwittingly expose your plant to
danger. Even old hands can make a mistake and create
a hazard. Part of the lesson is to seriously question anything
new and different, especially when it violates a
rule.What are the rules? There are lots of them and
some will not apply to your boiler plant. Luckily there
are some rules that are covered by qualified inspectors
so you don’t have to know them. There should be rules
for your facility that were generated as a result of an
accident or analysis by a qualified inspector. Perhaps
there’s a few that you wrote or should have written
down. When the last time you did that there was a boiler
rattling BOOM in the furnace a rule was created that
basically said don’t do that again! Your state and local
jurisdiction (city or county) may also have rules regarding
boiler operation so you need to look for them as
well. Here’s a list of the published rules you should be
aware of and, when they apply to your facility, you
should know them.


Write to me at marinenotes4u@gmail.com,283928@gmail.com.::MK::.

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