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October 29, 2012
Facilty Start-up After a Disaster

Oil refineries and chemical facilities are faced with yet another challenge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the proper and timely start-up of their facilities. Start-up operations are especially dangerous and require extra attention because many activities are being performed at the same time and in many accounts, automatic procedures are performed manually.

Whether or not your facility has been affected by Sandy, you may still be susceptible to a natural disaster, or even a power outage. The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has issued tips on how to safely startup your facility after the unfortunate event of a disaster.

What Has Already Worked—Use established and the most up-to-date start-up procedures.

Keep an Eye on the Staff—Make sure you have adequate staff that is qualified and trained. Evacuate any people that are not essential to the start-up.

Equipment Checklist

Inspect all equipment for damage before start-up. In addition to your regularly used checklists and procedures, CSB recommends that you look at the following equipment:

  • Large bulk storage tanks, pressure vessels, and small storage tanks-floating displacement or damage
  • Insulation systems for piping, vessels, and tanks-trapped floodwater and/or damaged or missing insulation
  • Sewers and drains-debris and silt impediment
  • Furnace systems-damaged or missing refractory and insulation; trapped floodwater; debris impact damage; fuel system and control damage; debris in firebox
  • Electric motors and drives-flood water leakage into housing; drive component damage; debris impact damage
  • Switchgear, conduit, electrical boxes, electronic and pneumatic instrumentation, emergency warning systems, emergency equipment-floodwater leakage into devices and conduit; debris impact damage; hot-spots
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