8/02/2017

Boiler Rooms

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Posted by Gideon Dayak

Although the boiler room and the equipment inside keeps your building at optimal year-round temperatures, it’s one area in your facilities you may not think about daily. The room is typically in an obscure location, usually on the lower level. This may contribute to forgetting to maintain it. You must be proactive to make sure that every part of your facilities—including the boiler room—receives regular maintenance.

A boiler room contains machinery that produces high-pressure steam and thus carries a risk of explosion. Hot surfaces and moving machinery are also present. These combined factors require a well-planned safety program to keep the boiler and associated machinery running under safe conditions. A well-preserved boiler room should be clear of any items not pertinent to its function and receive regular maintenance.  Here is an example of a well-preserved boiler room.




As you can see, this boiler room is well-lighted and clean. The area is free of any items that are not essential to the function of the boiler room. All wiring is safely secured, and a fire extinguisher is readily available in case of any accidents.

Here is an example of a poorly maintained boiler room.






This boiler room has poor lighting throughout the facility. Many unnecessary items are stored here. These items do not enhance the function of the equipment and can increase the risk of slips, trips, and falls. The wiring is exposed and has not been secured or contained. Furthermore, cleaning products stored in the room can cause a hazard if the contents are ever spilled.
 

How to Have a Well-Maintained Boiler Room

 

Basic Safety Rules - Supervision

Each supervisor should communicate boiler operation information to the next shift supervisor. Specific directions should be provided regarding any special procedures to be followed. Each supervisor should keep a boiler room log and complete it during each shift. Any malfunctions are to be noted and brought to the attention of the manager. Always use personal safety wear such as gloves and non-slip shoes. When cleaning the fire side of the boiler, use goggles and respirators.

 

Boiler Maintenance

Any boiler or pressure vessel must be built to industry standards and registered with your country’s similar organization. Boilers and pressure vessel installers should notify the Chief Boiler Inspector at least thirty days before installation.

The law also requires that boilers and pressure vessels are inspected annually or biennially depending on the type of equipment. Boilers shall not be operated without a Valid Certificate of Inspection. The Boiler and Pressure Vessel Safety Inspection Unit are responsible for ensuring all boilers, and pressure vessels are inspected in accordance with local rules and regulations. This responsibility involves ensuring the safe operation, maintenance, repair, and alterations of all pressure retaining objects.

For any maintenance activity, follow the manufacturer’s recommended schedule for safe and smooth operation of the system.

Here are ten ways to improve safety in your boiler room.
  1. Treat and soften the water used in the boiler, as minerals in the water can cause a buildup of deposits and cause overheating of the boiler.
  2. Always open the steam valves slowly and use personal protective wear when working in the boiler room.
  3. Display the fire safety plan with the location of fire alarms, extinguishers, main electrical breaker, and exits for each area clearly marked.
  4. Post a chart with the procedure for first aid in case of any injuries.
  5. Display the lockout and tag out chart applied to each piece of equipment to prevent any injury from energized circuit and equipment operation during maintenance and repair.
  6. Document all incidents/accidents that occur in the facility for any insurance claims. 
  7. Install a self-closing, metal fire-rated door for your boiler room to prevent the spread of fire, smoke, heat, or hot gases from one room to another.
  8. Do not use the boiler room for any storage. Flammable materials act as a catalyst in the case of any accidental fire.
  9. Create a safety system for oil-fired boilers to cut off the oil supply in the event of an accidental fire.
  10. Only allow authorized personnel to enter the boiler room.
 

Waste Control   

Rubbish and waste products, especially oil-soaked cotton waste, can easily provide fuel for a fire. All waste should be properly contained in a bin and should be moved daily to a designated room. This material should be transported appropriately to be disposed of properly.
 
By following these safety guidelines and procedures, your ministry can create a safe environment for your members in maintaining a safe boiler room. For more resources on keeping your ministry safe, visit AdventistRisk.org/Prevention-Resources.
 
 


By: Gideon Dayak
Account Executive
Adventist Risk Management, Inc.









 

* THIS MATERIAL IS FACT BASED GENERAL INFORMATION AND SHOULD NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, BE CONSIDERED SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE REGARDING A PARTICULAR MATTER OR SUBJECT. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR LOCAL ATTORNEY OR RISK MANAGER IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS HOW A LOCAL JURISDICTION DEALS WITH ANY SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES YOU MAY BE FACING.