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Gasman  
#1 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:20:05(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Gasman

I work in power generation, The company I work for generates electricity to the grid via a reciprocating gas engine and so our fuel source is natural gas off the gas grid. We have "power stations" nationally. A topic of recent debate is whether or not the engineers onsite who carryout all the service and maintenance should be wearing flame retardent (FR) overalls? 

My risk assessments haven't uncovered and hazards where these would be applicable, but I stand to be corrected. In summary we work on engines (Policy is to leave them off until cool ) We don't do any welding or "hot works" hotworks might be as much as grinding. 

I want to take into consideration the fact that FR overalls are heavier and more cumbersome and annoing to wear so although there may be some risk, it's reasoanble to not implement the use of FR because as mentioned no welding, gas torches etc? 

Engineers argument is: Engines are hot (Not applicable, because thats heat convection ) Overalls will do nothing. Exhaust temps are hot ( Again, not applicable policy is to workon a cool engine )

Engineer is adament toprove we need them, I don't mind hearing the argument for it although I feel initiallyit probably isn't needed?

Any thoughts? I don't want to issue PPE just becuase.

A Kurdziel  
#2 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:25:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Is there a risk that people’s clothes (if they are the normal type) will catch fire either from a flame, flash or radiant heat. If not, why do you need flame retardant clothing?

thanks 1 user thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
CptBeaky on 11/09/2019(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#3 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:29:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Not my area of expertise at all. However I would want the answer to two questions.

1/ Are your engineers ever exposed, or in danger of being exposed to a flame?

2/ If they were exposed to a flame, would flame retardant clothing protect them from that flame?

If the answer to both of those is yes, then I would. If the answer is No I probably wouldn't.

I am sure I am about to be proven wrong though ;)

Gasman  
#4 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:34:31(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Gasman

Work wear is issued and overalls of the "standard" type are also issued and worn when mechanical or service work is being done. 

As mentioned I haven't identified any fire risks so my standing on this is no FR isn't needed. I think there are quite a few variables. An engineer could potential be at risk of arc flash was he/she to work near LV installations such as breakers. Maybe theres a case and point there? Or the fact that we have gas pipework on site? again fire risk is minimal and so Im not sure PPE would een be sufficent in the above mentioned scenarios. If there is a risk of ARC flash then that work is to be undertaken under a different risk assessment and suitablyqualified indivisuals to do it with suitable PPE as recommended by industry standard. 

If gas pipewrk was to burst intoflame under pressure a FR overall would be as usefull to you as a chocolate tea potand again the risk is extremely minimal of that happening so myview is it is reasonable not to guard against that.

The other issue may be workingaround engines that are off or still running.Engineers can be expected to visual inspections of a engine running so maybe there is a case for FR when this is done? 

thanks 1 user thanked Gasman for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 11/09/2019(UTC)
Gasman  
#5 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:38:11(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Gasman

Originally Posted by: CptBeaky Go to Quoted Post

Not my area of expertise at all. However I would want the answer to two questions.

1/ Are your engineers ever exposed, or in danger of being exposed to a flame?

2/ If they were exposed to a flame, would flame retardant clothing protect them from that flame?

If the answer to both of those is yes, then I would. If the answer is No I probably wouldn't.

I am sure I am about to be proven wrong though ;)

Answer 1.) I don't think so I haven't identified any fire hazards,other than working near a engine as highest onthe list of possible causes of fire.

2.) I think thats the point of FR overalls isn't it? lol they are meant t withstand some flame and if you gointo product detail it willhighlight exactly what etc.



CptBeaky  
#6 Posted : 11 September 2019 09:59:26(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

I was thinking more of if it were a catastrophic explosion for example, or at a heat beyond the safe limits of the FR.

fairlieg  
#7 Posted : 11 September 2019 10:33:38(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
fairlieg

Originally Posted by: Gasman Go to Quoted Post

Work wear is issued and overalls of the "standard" type are also issued and worn when mechanical or service work is being done. 

As mentioned I haven't identified any fire risks so my standing on this is no FR isn't needed. I think there are quite a few variables. An engineer could potential be at risk of arc flash was he/she to work near LV installations such as breakers. Maybe theres a case and point there? Or the fact that we have gas pipework on site? again fire risk is minimal and so Im not sure PPE would een be sufficent in the above mentioned scenarios. If there is a risk of ARC flash then that work is to be undertaken under a different risk assessment and suitablyqualified indivisuals to do it with suitable PPE as recommended by industry standard. 

If gas pipewrk was to burst intoflame under pressure a FR overall would be as usefull to you as a chocolate tea potand again the risk is extremely minimal of that happening so myview is it is reasonable not to guard against that.

The other issue may be workingaround engines that are off or still running.Engineers can be expected to visual inspections of a engine running so maybe there is a case for FR when this is done? 


Arc Flash is a different beast from an explosion and you would need to have correctly rated Arc Flash coveralls to mitigate that potential depending on the risk at those switches etc, this would be determined off the back of an arc flash study for the station.  FR coveralls also need to be washed correctly so they stay FR (some have a limit of 50 washes and must not have fabric softener in the wash).

Normally the station operators (Gas Turbine CHP) will determine what you will need in terms of PPE Requirements.  In the past we have always issued our staff with Anti Static, FR coveralls due to potential for fuel skid isolations passing (and we also did hotworks in areas with potentially oil contaminated insulation etc), and site staff would have arc flash rated coveralls to because of their activities, other site activies and vapours from cleaning solvents, degreasers etc vapour build up and ES potential build up are risks to concider.  Note many of our recip engines would have been in 20-40ft containers with less than ideal ventilation and GT's are usually inside an sound and heat insualting compartment all of which need to be conciders as part of your risk assessment.

SJP  
#8 Posted : 11 September 2019 11:26:42(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
SJP

You need to remember these are Fire Resistant overalls, not fire proof overalls. They are designed not to catch fire in the same manner as 'normal' overalls.

If you want fire proof overalls then you would need to supply something similar to the equipment supplied to the Fire and Rescue Service!

stevedm  
#9 Posted : 11 September 2019 11:35:32(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

What does your DSEAR/ATEX assessment say on the subject?...maybe it is there as a control meaasures or recommendation already...?

The equipment covered by the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive 89/686/EEC is specifically excluded from Directive 2014/34/EU. However, the manufacture of PPE for use in explosive atmospheres is covered by basic health and safety requirement 2.6 in Annex II to the PPE Directive. PPE intended for use in explosive atmospheres must be so designed and manufactured that it cannot be the source of an electric, electrostatic or impact-induced arc or spark likely to cause an explosive mixture to ignite. Following the EHSRs in Directive 2014/34/EU is one way to demonstrate compliance.

Note: the PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 was published on the OJEU L 81 on 31 March 2016, repealing Directive

Gasman  
#10 Posted : 11 September 2019 15:48:06(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Gasman

THanks for the reply, To answer your first question the DSEAR assessment came back as: In the case of the natural gas fuelled generators, there are only zone 2 areas of negligible extent and therefore ATEX compliant electrically powered equipment and ATEX compliant mechanical equipment is not required either inside or outside these gas engine generator enclosures."

Originally Posted by: stevedm Go to Quoted Post

What does your DSEAR/ATEX assessment say on the subject?...maybe it is there as a control meaasures or recommendation already...?

The equipment covered by the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Directive 89/686/EEC is specifically excluded from Directive 2014/34/EU. However, the manufacture of PPE for use in explosive atmospheres is covered by basic health and safety requirement 2.6 in Annex II to the PPE Directive. PPE intended for use in explosive atmospheres must be so designed and manufactured that it cannot be the source of an electric, electrostatic or impact-induced arc or spark likely to cause an explosive mixture to ignite. Following the EHSRs in Directive 2014/34/EU is one way to demonstrate compliance.

Note: the PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 was published on the OJEU L 81 on 31 March 2016, repealing Directive



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