How to Simplify Turnarounds with Blast Resistant Modular Buildings

Planned turnarounds at refineries and petrochemical sites are done for various reasons, including performing preventive maintenance, repairs, renovations or required upgrades of technology or facilities. All this is done in order to ensure the safety of the facility, but also to meet government regulations and remain competitive in the industry.

Each turnaround involves a careful coordination of multiple teams, including logistics, project planning, project engineering, turnaround management, as well as contract workers in various skilled trades. All these teams of individuals are involved to ensure that the turnaround takes place safely and successfully, which means using the workforce wisely, the resources as conservatively as possible, and completing the turnaround in the shortest time possible and within budget.

Considering all the resources and people involved, as well as the scope of these projects, turnarounds usually take place when production is at its lowest level and the required workforce is readily available. Furthermore, even before the current planned turnaround takes place, the next turnaround is often already being planned.

A turnaround can last from a few weeks to a few months. Therefore, it is a good idea to find ways to make the process run smoother and faster. To help you with this important endeavour, we have prepared a few ideas that can help you in having a successful turnaround.

1. Use full-service teams

One way to make your turnaround run smoother is to use full-service teams whenever possible. For each product you buy or rent, you want to ensure it can be installed without headaches, and that, once in place, it will perform in line with your requirements. Therefore, you should ask your vendors about service options when purchasing major products. You also need to identify if the vendor will deliver the product to site, what happens after delivery, and what maintenance may be required. For rentals, you need to identify who will pick the product up and when. To make your life easier, a full-service team takes care of all this.

2. Use transportation teams

A transportation team should also be part of the full-service team. Drivers working for the company that they are delivering for, usually care more about the delivery, including that it is performed on time, in good conditions, and that it can be picked up when required. Vendors having dedicated drivers know where their products are at all times, and can rely on their people taking care of the products and ensure their customers are happy. Basically, using internal transportation teams means you have one thing less to worry about.

3. Control access and eliminate theft with turnstiles

Providing an extra layer of security and access control at a refinery has many benefits. Physical barriers, such as turnstiles, allow access of your authorised employees, while keeping unauthorised people from entering the facility. This is extremely important for the safety and security of your site, as your high-risk activities can be executed behind a barrier, and therefore, you are not endangering public safety.

Furthermore, installing turnstiles and other access control measures brings another benefit that many turnaround managers don’t realise until later. With card swipe technology and the related software, you can also monitor the amount of actual hours your vendors and contractors are putting in. This increase in accountability enables you to eliminate stolen time, which alone can save you thousands of dollars each year.

4. Use engineering services and plan for blast resistance

Engineering services are also part of a full-service team, and after using engineering services you can create a plan for blast resistance. To comply with regulations, meet industry guidelines and reduce the chances of public exposure, you need to conduct facility siting studies at your site. The OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.119 Process Safety Management regulation (known as PSM) requires a facility siting study to be carried out in a company’s Process Hazard Analysis (PHA).

Facility siting studies are offered by many companies within their engineering services, and can help you manage the risk associated with working in a hazardous environment, as well as prevent accidents that can result in injuries, lost lives, and major financial loss. A facility siting study also helps determine the suitable location of buildings inside hazardous work zones.

After a facility siting study is completed, make sure to have a plan for blast resistant measures inside identified blast work zones. When looking for blast-resistant modular buildings, choose those that have been blast-tested and comply with API RP 752 and API RP 753. These buildings should have wall studs with close and sturdy spacing, and also non-structural components designed to hold up during a blast.

When choosing blast-resistant modular buildings, it is also important to consider their blast response rating in terms of response-level rating and duration. In this regard, consider only low or medium response rating buildings, as high response means that the building could have significant structural damage or even collapse during an explosion. Find out more about response rating in our previous article about why high response is not acceptable for blast-resistant modules.

We want to help you

At RedGuard Specialist Services, we understand the process and want to help you in making your turnarounds easier. We don’t just sell blast-resistant modular buildings. We offer complete turnkey solutions that help you manage the risks related to working in hazardous environments, such as a refinery, petrochemical or other chemical operations. As part of our services, we provide engineering services, such as facility siting studies, which are part of your Process Hazard Analysis.

With our engineering services, we can help you analyse if your existing buildings are safe or need to be moved, retrofitted or replaced. We can also give you mitigation options. If you decide to rent or purchase our blast-resistant modular buildings, we also have an in-house professional transportation team that delivers our modules to you in line with your schedule and requirements. We also have a service team that handles our units’ placement in your facility, and for preventive maintenance or eventual repairs.

What do you do to simplify your turnaround?