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Gujarat Refinery

Fire & Safety Department

Sub: Monthly Safety Day Programme (May-2011)
Safety Theme of the Month: “Safety during shutdown”

Safe and timely completion of shutdown followed by smooth start-up is everyone’s desire. This
requires detail planning, mobilizing of resources and coordination between operation and
maintenance groups.

A shut down of process units involves working of many agencies together in a unit to achieve the
target. A high level of cooperation and coordination is required amongst various agencies to
execute the job safely, as many skilled as well as unskilled personnel may be involved in the job.
The identification of hazards during various activities needs to be comprehensive. One activity if
considered separately can be safe at one place. However the other activity in the vicinity of that
may make it unsafe. While giving work permit/ clearances, this must be considered.

Some of the key points with respect to roles and responsibilities of operation as well as
maintenance groups are covered here.


The complete plan for a shutdown / turn around and start up of units must include advance
preparation at the unit and by other departments / sections whose operation will be either affected
or has active role in shut down such as other units, Off Site section, Pump houses, utilities and
Maintenance dept.

The shutdown procedures should be in writing and it is to be followed strictly by all concerned.
Check list should be prepared to show the sequences of events to ensure safety and efficiency of
the operation and continuity of work between shifts.

The critical path method has also been found to be very much effective in planning. All
procedures mentioned in respective operating manuals should be strictly adhered for safe
shutdown of the unit.

The preparation of equipments/ facilities for shut down activities should generally include the
following sequences, which needs to be ensured by operation:

o Cooling and de-pressurizing the system.

o Pumping out the system.
o Removal of harmful materials (such as corrosive, poisonous etc.).
o Removal of water.
o Blinding & opening.
o Removal of Pyrophoric iron sulphide.
o Ventilation
o Inspection for entering.

The hazards that come across normally in shutdown due to inadequate preparation of equipment/
facilities and start up of units are accidental mixing or air and hydrocarbons, contact of water with
hot oil, leak in the piping and equipment due to pressure, vacuum, thermal or mechanical shock.
These hazards may lead to fires, explosions, pressure surges and other damage to the units,
which may cause injury to the personnel.


i. On running unit, reduce throughput of the unit to the minimum operating value as
specified in the design / operating manual.
ii. Simultaneously reduce heat to the furnace in stages by reducing fuel.
iii. Check frequently the rundown products, draw off temperature, reflux rates and
accordingly reduce the draw off temp, reflux rates and accordingly reduce the draw off
temp. Reflux rates. Reduce stripping steam.
iv. Reduce cooling water to the overhead condenser with induction in T'put but ensure that it
should not cause pipe damage due to incomplete condensation.
v. Shut off all fuel to the main and pilot burner when T'put is reduced to about 30% of the
vi. Blow out oil burners with steam and keep a small amount of steam blowing through the
tips of burner to make them cool.
vii. Open wide the secondary air dampers and the flue gas dampers to the stack to permit
the maximum flow of outside air through furnace box for cooling.
viii. Shut off fresh oil introduction to the unit as per normal procedures and establish the
internal circulation. Maintain oil flow from the feed pump through the main components of
the unit-exchangers, furnace tubes, columns etc. to the bottom pumps and back to the
feed pumps. See that the coolers are in line.
ix. Continue internal circulation as per normal operating procedure. Then step the feed
pump and pump out the oil per the operating procedure.
x. Blind off the fuel gas line to the furnace as soon as the furnace is shutdown. The reason
is to avoid the possibilities of any slippage of gas into the furnace.
xi. Install a blind at the battery limit of the fuel gas line as soon as the necessity of fuel gas in
other purposes of the unit is over.
xii. Blind the fuel oil line in the battery limit. Remove the oil burners from the furnace and
drain the fuel oil lines to prevent the accidental slippage of oil into the furnace.
xiii. De-pressurise the system by releasing hydrocarbon gases to the gas collecting system.
xiv. During cooling ensure that it does not produce any vacuum in the unit. If required steam
or other inert gas should be introduced to maintain a pressure, slightly more than
atmospheric pressure.
xv. While shutting down, take care to adjust the cooling, so that water is not condensed in
the upper part of the column and then come in contact with hot lilt at the bottom. Keep the
column top temperature safely above the water-condensing temp, at the pressure


i. When the residual oil has been cooled to the required temperature, route it to place as
per instruction.
ii. Take care during pumping out operation that the centrifugal pumps do not run with lost
suction. Running of a centrifugal pump with lost suction even for a short time may
damage the mechanical seal / packing and may create a hazardous situation due to
iii. During the shutdown of the unit, the draining of individual equipment may be necessary
though it may not have the permanent connections to the above drain system. Provide
temporary facility to drain the material to a closed system.
iv. Ensure that the pumping out operation is done with positive pressure in the system to
avoid the entry of air into the system as also collapse of any equipment due to vacuum.


Removal of the hydrocarbons is done be displacement with steam / water / inert gas etc. Purging
material depends on the type of unit. Steam is used as purging material in Distillation / Visbreaker
etc. units. But in catalytic process unit, inert gas such as nitrogen or gas from inert gas generator
is use as steam may damage the catalyst.
i. Take care, so that when purging the purging media flows from one vessel to the another
successively and finally to the blow down or flare system.
ii. See that the parallel paths of flow are also purged.
iii. Continue the purging to flow through every part of the unit as per the instruction laid down
in the operating manual.
iv. When using steam as a purging material keep open all the drains and vents at the
highest point to check that steam is coming.


Water flushing of equipment is an effective way to purge the system and both the gas and liquid
can be removed.

i. Before starting water flushing care should be taken that the equipment and its foundation
are designed to support the weight and pressure of water.
ii. Before water flushing starts put blinds in all the rundown lines from the unit and feed line
at the battery limit to prevent water from entering these lines.
iii. Take care that the water flushing is done from one vessel to another and that whole
system is flushed by overflowing.
iv. Vent out the hydrocarbon / material from the high point vent to avoid trapping of any oil,
gas or other material.
v. Pump out the water flushed oil from the system or drain it to closed drain.
vi. After water flushing is over, drain water to sewer.
vii. Ensure that the vents of the vessels / columns are open at the time of draining so that
sufficient air can enter into the system to prevent the pulling of vacuum on any part of the


• Any corrosive or poisonous material such as acids, caustic, salts and sludge present
in parts of the unit must be removed. Gases like hydrogen Sulphide, ammonia, carbon
mono-oxide etc. must be purged from any vessel/column and circulation of fresh air
should be ensured before entering. Residual gases can be removed by flushing with
steam and then by water followed by displacement of water with air.
• If any sludge is found in the vessel which are product of acid or caustic treatment of a
hydrocarbon may be flushed by acid or caustic treatment followed by flushing with water.
• If neutralisation with caustic or acid is required, removal of caustic or acid should ensured
before starting the water flushing to prevent any violent reaction that may happen.
• During neutralisation of caustic containing mercapten, hydrogen Sulphide gas may
evolve and in that case care should be taken for its removal by proper ventilation.


Proper blinding in the shutdown time is of utmost importance from the safety point of view.

i. Put blinds to all the various utility lines and the oil outlet from the unit and inlet to the unit.
This is to avoid unwanted material from entering the unit while the unit is under
ii. Isolate positively the column / vessels with blinds before steaming to prevent any gas
entry. This it to avoid the accidental entry of any hazardous material.
iii. Ensure that the maintenance personnel opening various parts of the unit should wear the
appropriate protective equipment such as goggles, face shield, respiratory equipment,
rubber gloves etc. Depending upon the nature of job performed.
iv. Do not open any lines to put the blinds unless the operating personnel gives the
v. To open lines crack open the flanges slowly, so that if any hydrocarbon or other material
is there, it can be handed safely.
vi. Drain or vent the material if the material present in small amount but if comes out
continuously, box up the flanges for further flushing as necessary.
vii. Before removing any valves be sure that the system in which the valve is attached is
empty on both side of valves.
viii. Prepare list of blinds to be installed during shutdown and maintain it in a separate register
showing each blind location, the date and time at which the blind is installed and the
initial of operating personnel who witnessed the job.


In refinery processing sulphur bearing crude oil, the various places and equipment may contain
Pyrophoric iron Sulphide. Pyrophoric iron Sulphide may create resistance to oil / steam / water
flow and when exposed to air will ignite spontaneously even at low temperature. It will not ignite if
it can be kept wet, but will ignite as soon as it dries. If in any system hydrocarbon vapour and air
are present, Pyrophoric iron may cause explosion and may follow fire.

If pyrophoric iron Sulphide is suspected to be present in any equipment handling hydrocarbon,

the entire inner surface should be kept wet with water during flushing before the equipment is
exposed to air. Ensure equipment is hydrocarbon free. The wet Iron Sulphide can be
mechanically removed and taken to safety places where it can be buried underground.
Alternatively it can be removed by chemical treatment.


Before anyone is permitted to enter inside any confined space such as columns, vessels, etc.,
that equipment must be drained, de-pressurized, well ventilated, gas tested, checked and
approved by the operating personnel.

Approval for entry inside should be given only after it is strictly ensured that:

i. The equipment is free from all hazards. Take gas test and do it time and
again, if required.
ii. The system is having sufficient supply of air for normal breathing of
human being.
iii. All the connecting lines including the purging lines are blinded and
ensure nothing will enter the equipment after clearance of man entry is
iv. Top man-ways or vent of the columns / vessels are kept open. Provide
forced ventilation wherever required.
v. There is sufficient illumination to work inside.
vi. Work permit has been taken and all conditions in permit is complied at




Lifting machines include cranes, hoist, crabs, winches, and tackles, pulley blocks gin wheels,
transporter or runway chin ropes. Lifting tackles mean chain slings; ropes slings ring hoods
shackles and swivels. All lifting machines, tools and tackles must be inspected, tested and
certified by competent authorities as per Factory acts & Gujarat Factory Rules made their under
and only certified equipment should be put to use.

All mobile cranes shall meet the requirements of safety check-list, supplied by Gujarat Refinery.


a. The maximum safe working load in Kg. or tonnes should be marked on each hoisting
apparatus at the conspicuous place.
b. The hoisting apparatuses should not, except for actual testing purposes, be loaded
beyond the maximum safe working load.
c. It is the responsibility of the equipment operating personnel and his supervisor to ensure
that any equipment is not overloaded.
d. In case of mobile cranes, the safe load at various angles of the boom and job should
clearly be indicated on such crane and indicators should be affixed showing the angles of
the boom or job in the various positions.
e. Loads should be raised and lowered smoothly, avoiding sudden starts and stops or jerks.
f. It is the duty of the operating personnel and the supervisor-in-charge to ensure that no
person remains in a position of danger in the course of lifting operation.
g. Riding on loads being lifted or lifting of personnel up or lowering them on crane ropes is
strictly forbidden.
h. When lifting the load, which necessitates signals to the operator from the ground, or
intermediate floors, on man should be detailed for this duty by the person supervising the
job and made known to the operator so he should take the instructions from the deputed
person only.
i. Hands or feet should not be removed from the controls while a load is suspended.

a. If there is a power failure during the operation of the electric crane, the control should
throw to the off position. The area under the suspended load should be cordoned.
b. Loads should not be carried over the head of other employees.
c. Before lifting an unloaded overhead crane, the hooks and slings should be raised to the
height above all fixed the moving objects below such as pedestrian or vehicles etc.
d. When the operator of the crane takes over charge, it is his first duty to check the controls
of the crane and see that the crane tracks are clear, he should satisfy himself that:
e. all guards, such as guards over gears, couplings, rotating shafts, etc are in place,
f. the limit switches and other electrical and mechanical devices are in proper working
conditions. He should also run the block up or down to see that the wire rope is winding
on the drum properly. While doing this he can scan the rope to see if it has any kinks or
exposed broken strands.
g. Before the main switch is closed, operator should check to see that all controls are in
"OFF" position.
h. Any defect in the crane, including unusual noise or faulty operation such as sparking
motors, bridge jumping or binding, slow response from controls etc. should be reported to
the Engineer-in-charge for immediate rectification before attempting to lift a load.
i. The crane operator is responsible for the safe operation of the crane and he should follow
the following principles.
j. Avoid placing an additional strain on the crane or swinging the load. The operator should
be certain that the hook is directly over the load to be lifted.
k. Loads or equipment should not be moved by sliding or dragging them on the floor or
l. The bridge or trolley should not be started before the load is lifted from the ground to the
desired height.
m. The block should never be lowered to a point where less than two full wraps of the cable
are on the drum.
n. When a long sling or hitch is attached to a load, consideration should be given to the
height of the lift, so as to prevent the block from tripping the limit switch.
o. The limit is a safety device. It is not designed as a control and must not be used to stop
the hoist.
p. When picking up a heavy load, it is advisable to lift the load slightly and test the brake.
q. When two cranes are operating independently on the same rails, they should maintain a
safe distance of 9 meters between them. When two cranes are used to lift the same load
the work should be carefully supervised by a responsible engineer.
r. The hoisting cable must not be slung round a load to be used as a sling. If a crane is
equipped with chain, loads should never be lifted while chain in kinked.
s. The operator should not allow the crane to bump against rail stops.
t. When boom cranes are used, the boom should be lowered to a horizontal position when
it is not in operation.
u. When any person is working on or near the wheel track of an overhead crane, effective
measures should be taken to ensure that the crane does not approach within 6 meters of
the place where he is working.
v. When sheer legs of masts are used it is the responsibility of the operator to ensure that
the jobs do not fall on overhead electric lines or structures etc. Under no circumstances
should an attempt be made to raise electrical wires by any one other than the electrical
w. If a warning bell, gong, whistle or siren is available, use it to warn everyone that you are
starting to move a load.
x. A minimum distance of 2 meters must always be maintained between the boom or load
and all power lines or feeds. In case it is not possible to maintain safe clearance for any
particular job, the Engineer-in-charge of such jobs should consult in advance of the
operation of the crane with the Electrical authorities so that the power lines may be de-
energized to avoid accidents.

“No one should be allowed to come under suspended load. The area
beneath the load must be barricaded.”
2. Safe Use of Compressed Gas Cylinders:-

• Store cylinders in an area specifically designated for that purpose. This area must protect
the cylinders from being struck by another object. The area must be well-ventilated and
away from sources of heat. It must be at least 20 feet away from highly combustible
materials. Oxidizers must be stored at least 20 feet away from flammable gases.

• Cylinders must not be dropped or allowed to fall. Chain and rack them in an upright
position during use and storage. When transporting cylinders, they must be secured from

• When moving a cylinder, even for a short distance, all the valves must be closed, the
regulator removed, and the valve cap installed. Never use the valve cap to lift a cylinder.
If you are using a crane or some other lifting device to move a cylinder, use a cradle or
boat designed for that purpose. Never use a sling or a magnet to move a cylinder.

• Never permit cylinders to contact live electrical equipment or grounding cables.

• Cylinders must be protected from the sun's direct rays, especially in high-temperature
climates. Cylinders must also be protected from ice and snow accumulation.

• Before the gas is used, install the proper pressure-reducing regulator (ISI marked) on the
valve. After installation, verify the regulator is working, that all gauges are operating
correctly and that all connections are tight to ensure that there are no leaks. When you
are ready to use the gas, open the valve with your hands. Never use a wrench or other
tool. If you cannot open it with your hands, do not use it.

“Ensure that your Gas Cylinder has been hydro-tested as per Gas Cylinder
Rules before use.”

3. Using Portable Electric-Powered Tools Safely:-

3.1 Before you use a tool:

• Verify that it bears an electrical test label to indicate it successfully passed inspection and
tests for electrical safety within the previous six months.
• Know the application, limitation, and potential hazards of the tool. Operate according to
the manufacturer's instructions.
• Inspect the cord for the proper type. Electric-powered tools must either have a three-wire
cord with ground or be double insulated. Never use a plug that has its ground prong
• Inspect the tool for frayed cords, loose or broken switches, and other obvious problems.
Tools that fail this inspection must not be used. These must be removed from service and
labeled "Do Not Use" until repairs are made.

3.2 When using the tool:

• Do not use electric-powered tools in damp or wet locations.

• Keep guards in place, in working order, and properly adjusted. Safety guards must never
be removed when the tool is being used
• Avoid accidental starting. Do not hold a finger on the switch button while carrying a
plugged-in tool.
• Safety switches must be kept in working order and must not be modified. If you feel it
necessary to modify a safety switch for a job you're doing, use another tool.
• Work areas should have adequate lighting and be free of clutter.
• Observers should remain a safe distance away from the work area.
• Be sure to keep good footing and maintain good balance.
• Do not wear loose clothing, ties, or jewelry when operating tools.
• Wear appropriate gloves and footwear while using tools.

3.3 Servicing and storing tools:

• Never modify a tool to use for a job it's not intended to do.
• Disconnect power tools while servicing or storing.
• Do not wrap the cord around the tool for storage.
• Store tools in a dry place.

4. Welding - Physical Hazards

If you are a welder, or work near a welding operation, you may encounter any of these hazards:

Excessive Noise - Fire or Excessive Heat - Electrical Shock - Ultraviolet Radiation

All of these hazards can cause an injury. Knowing how to protect yourself is important. To protect
yourself from excessive noise, you must wear hearing protection if the noise level exceeds
90dB. A noise evaluation should be included in the routine safety evaluation for every job with the
potential for noise exposure. If you are required to use hearing protection, use it. Also, make sure
you use the right kind of hearing protection.

Fire and excessive heat are hazards with great potential for injury and damage. If hot work
(such as welding, grinding, cutting etc.) is done in an area where a fire hazard exists, a Hot Work
permit should be used in accordance with established procedures. These precautions are based
on regulatory requirements. In addition, a trained fire watch should also be posted to look for fires
during and after the hot work. Combustible and flammable materials must be cleared from the hot
work area. A spark or a piece of hot slag could easily ignite these materials and cause a tragic
fire. To protect yourself from burns from these sparks and pieces of slag, wear appropriate
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as aprons, gloves, leggings, and footwear.

As with any task involving energized equipment, electric welding also presents an electrical
shock hazard. To protect yourself from the electrical hazards, thoroughly inspect your welding
equipment before you use it. Be alert for loose connections and damaged components. Make
sure electrical equipment is grounded properly each time it is used and use “ELCB”.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause burns to the skin and eyes. Welding hoods and special
welding goggles with UV filter lenses and side shields are designed to protect your eyes and face
from UV exposure. Appropriate gloves and aprons must be used to protect exposed skin.
Welding curtains may be used for the same purpose to protect others in the vicinity of the welding
area. This equipment must be used faithfully for every welding job in order to prevent UV burns.
Flash burns to the eyes are extremely painful and can cause permanent damage, including

You can protect yourself from the physical hazards of welding. Follow company policies for using
PPE to prevent hearing loss and UV burns, and follow them consistently. Correct any situations
which pose a fire or electrical shock hazard. If you do have a safety concern about welding
hazards, don't let it become an accident waiting to happen--report it to your supervisor or your
company's safety office.

5. Work at Height:

All work at height shall be in accordance of provisions of ISMS-1001 on “Work At Height”. The
effort should be to reduce the possibility of any fall from height. And if even after all the
precautions at site, the possibility falling can not be ruled out, install proper fall protection
system. The hazard of material falling from top shall also be taken into account, whenever
job is planned at height. All persons working at height (2M and above from ground level/
floor level on work area not properly designed for safe working by human being or where
temporary arrangement has been made for safe work at height) must be trained and
medically fit for the job. Site in-charge has to ensure that and he must give toolbox talk
each before start of work.

5.1 Safety in Scaffolds

It is safe to assume that just about everybody has heard of a scaffolding accident or two. In many
of those cases, faulty design and inadequate construction of the scaffolding was involved but, in
most case, scaffold accidents are caused by unsafe practices during erection / dismantling of
scaffold, poor maintenance and improper use. In order to strengthen the safety aspects of
scaffold, ISMS-1007 on “Scaffold Safety” must be followed by all scaffold erectors, supervisors
and engineers. The ensure safety few key points are as follows:

1. Scaffold must be erected /dismantled by trained personnel under competent supervisors.

2. All scaffold materials must be physically examined w.r.t quality and quantity and certified
in prescribed form, before allowing erection of scaffold.
3. The persons erecting scaffold at a height of 2M or above must use full body safety
harness with “Y”- Type lanyard with snap hook.
4. The ground over which scaffolds are erected must be firm, leveled and consolidated.
5. All scaffold must be checked and certified in prescribed form and provided with GREEN
tag before being allowed for use. All scaffold shall be checked and certified on weekly
6. The scaffold should be given stability by providing bracings, tying and rakers.
7. Keep platforms closely boarded, fenced and securely fastened. Work platform must be
free from trip, trap, slip and fall. Safe access to work platform must be ensured.
8. Don't stockpile materials on the scaffolds; remove all materials and tools at the end of the
9. Type of scaffold should be selected on type of job and load to be kept on scaffold. Never
overload scaffolds.
10. Don't work on scaffolds during storms or high winds or flood. All scaffolds shall be
rechecked and re-certified after exposure to above weather condition or whenever some
modification work is carried out.
11. Protect the scaffolds: don't bump or strike against the scaffolds with vehicles or materials
and control-hoisted material from the ground with taglines.
12. Keep the platforms and area around the scaffold cleared of debris and unneeded
equipment, material and other hazards that will cause a worker to trip or fall.

5.2 . Ladder Safety

Follow the guidelines on ISMS-1001 on “Work at Height” for ladder safety. Some of the
key requirements are as follows:

1. CHECK THE CONDITION OF THE LADDER: Read all the labels on the ladder then
check for split or cracked side rails, missing or broken rungs, loose rungs or other
weaknesses. Also check for splinters and sharp edges.

2. PLACE THE LADDER WITH YOUR SAFETY IN MIND: Use your head and think safety
before you setup the ladder. Make sure the ladder has firm footing and that it's feet are
one-quarter the length of the ladder away from the upright surface to be climbed. Don't
use a step ladder as a single ladder. If you are using a step ladder, make sure it is fully
open with the spreaders properly locked.

3. CLIMB THE LADDER CAREFULLY. Keep your mind on where you are and what you're
doing. Wear the proper shoes with good soles and that are free of grease or mud. Always
face the ladder and use both hands when climbing up or down. Don't carry your tools or
materials: raise and lower them with a hand line: don't have someone toss them up to
you or just drop them when you are finished. If you don't feel well, DON'T climb the
ladder. Always climb and work from the center of the ladder. Don't climb up the "back"
side of a step ladder and never stand on the top of it.
4. NEVER OVERREACH! MOVE THE LADDER INSTEAD: Breaking this one simple rule
causes more accidents than you can possibly imagine.

5. TIE OFF THE LADDER: Once you have climbed to your working height, tie-off the ladder
and use a safety belt.

6. TAKE CARE OF YOUR LADDERS: When you are finished with your ladder, put it back
where it belongs. Always keep them clean and free of excess material. Store them in a
safe and dry place, out of direct exposure to the sun and the elements. Make sure your
ladders are tied down during transit. Never paint a wooden ladder. You can however use
clear wood preservatives.

Only trained persons should test, certify and use, the portable / step

6. Preventing Slips, Trips, and fall

Slips occur when there is too little friction between a person's feet and the walking surface.
Many factors can cause a slip. Ice, oil, water, cleaning fluids, and other slippery substances
are probably the most obvious causes. However, the flooring may be inappropriate-perhaps it
is a slick material-or the person who slips may not be wearing proper shoes. To prevent slips,
avoid walking in areas which pose slipping hazards if at all possible. Always promptly clean
up spills of slippery substances. Better yet, prevent the spills in the first place. If an area is a
chronic problem, re-route foot traffic in order to avoid it. If flooring is a problem, replace it or
coat it with a non-slip surfacing material. Always follow your company's safe shoe policy.
Most safe shoe policies require a slip-resistant sole.

Trips occur when a person's foot contacts an object and they are thrown off balance. The
main cause of tripping is obvious--anytime something is in a walkway it could cause someone
to trip. Another culprit is an object which projects into the walkway--perhaps material stored
low on a shelf. Poor lighting and uneven walking surfaces also cause tripping. Prevention of
trips is simple but does require diligence. Keep objects that could cause someone to trip out
of the way. Repair uneven flooring and install proper lighting if required.

Falls can be caused by a number of things. Slips and trips frequently result in a fall. Falls also
occur for other reasons. Improper use of ladders and scaffolding can result in a fall-usually a
very serious one. Falls also happen when people climb objects without using fall protection
equipment. Don't risk serious injury by taking shortcuts. If you are working on a ladder,
scaffold, or other elevated platform, make sure you know the requirements for using them
safely. Always use fall protection equipment when it is required.
Slips, trips, and falls cause numerous injuries every day. But they are among the easiest
hazards to correct. Take the time to look around your worksite for these hazards and work to
prevent them. Take care not to cause any slip, trip, or fall hazards as you go about your daily
activities. Don't let a slip, trip, or fall keep you from enjoying all that life has to offer.

7. Working Safely in Confined Spaces

Confined spaces present many dangers-some of which the miners of yesterday never knew.
These are some of the common ones:

• Lack of oxygen, presenting a suffocation hazard

• Fire or explosion hazards from an accumulation of flammable vapors
• Health hazards from toxic vapors
• Difficulty exiting the space in the event of an emergency
• Cramped spaces to work in, resulting in a danger of being caught in equipment
• Poor visibility
• High levels of noise
• Temperature extremes

In general, following are the things you should be aware of before you enter a confined space:
• Know how to enter it safely
• Know how to exit quickly
• Know that the atmosphere in the space is tested and found to be free of dangerous levels
of toxic or flammable vapors, and that there is sufficient oxygen
• Know that the atmosphere within the space is going to remain safe while you are working
• Know the rescue plan in the event of an emergency, and make sure the proper rescue
equipment is available and in good condition
• Know that another person outside the confined space is keeping an eye on you as you
work, and that they know the rescue plan, too
• Know what other procedures are necessary to follow to work safely, such as locking out
energy sources.
• Follow the work permit procedure strictly.

8. Key safety points to be covered:

 PPE compliance must be ensured. Points mentioned in Dos and Don’ts with
permit also must be adhered to.
 Compliance of work permit must be ensured.
 Toolbox talk must be given before start of work each day and record to be
 In addition to general safety briefings, the contractor employees exposed to
critical jobs such as erection/ dismantling of scaffold, excavation, work at height
must be exposed to task oriented training in line with requirement of ISMS before
being put for job.
 All tested and certified lifting machines, lifting tools, lifting tackles, gas cylinder
should only be used during shut down.
 Strict to safe maintenance practice during the entire activities.

Safe and interruption free start up of process unit is equally important. This should be ensured by
preparing the unit for start up. The key points includes proper de-blinding, boxing up of
equipment, facilities, closing and capping of drains, ensuring oil free insulation, removal of
unwanted materials from plant, proper housekeeping etc.

The start up clearance in prescribed form as per ISMS-1012 must be obtained before staring the