Workplace Safety Means Following The Rules When To Apply For A Smokestack Inspection



Safety always come first.

It doesn’t matter if you’re leaving your house for the workweek or double-checking that strange noise you hear every time you turn on your faucet. You always have safety on the brain, whether in the forefront of your mind or on your to-do list. Smokestack inspection is a necessary buffer between you and a costly accident, particularly if it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned out your industrial chimneys. The constant build-up of smoke, debris, and dirt can lead to confined space hazards that cost thousands and put your workers in danger. Should you be considering a check-up, now’s the time to do it.

Here are some fast facts about commercial chimney hazards and how they can be avoided through the aid of the smokestack inspection.

The Construction Of The Commercial Chimney

The chimney we’re familiar with today didn’t come about overnight. They’ve been designed and refined for many decades now, seeing a rising prominence through the Industrial Revolution and still seeing changes in today’s eco-friendly economy. Kennecot smelter — a smokestack that was built in the 1970’s — is by far the tallest man-made structure in Utah, boasting over 1,200 feet in height and nearly 180 feet across. Smokestack inspection is necessary, as these massive constructions are too complex to be discerned at a glance.

Development Of Chimneys To The Modern Day

The industrial chimney is used in many areas of society today, though predominantly in factories and manufacturing plants. The EPA and Government Accountability Office found there was an increase in American smokestacks taller than 500 feet over the last four years. Due to their height smokestacks are required to be well-lit so planes can see them and avoid them. Since exhaust is able to cover the glow, lights are also required to be five to ten feet below the top of the smoke stack. Owners sometimes floodlight the stack with fixed searchlight projectors.

Basic Workplace Regulations For Chimney Safety

There have been several requirements implemented to keep smokestack inspection a smooth process and avoid the more common hazards associated with these constructions. When it comes to basic recommendations, all new stacks should be accessed and inspected one year after entering service to ensure the anticipated performance under load. The Occupational Safety And Health Act Of 1970 saw Congress establishing OSHA to assure safe and healthy working conditions for today’s employees. Access to OSHA requirements is easy to find and must be followed at all costs.

Common Chimney Hazards

You’re already familiar with some of the common hazards associated with the commercial chimney. The most obvious is fire, particularly when the chimney isn’t cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Another common hazard is air pollution. Atmospheric oxygen concentrations below 19% and above 23.5% are considered to be dangerous and even fatal. Thanks to the tireless efforts of OSHA and everyday workers there has been an 80% reduction in workplace fatalities between 1971 and 2015. That doesn’t mean there isn’t still more work to be done.

Simple Requirements Provided By Your Smokestack Inspection

Your power plant chimney runs the risk of losing out on efficiency and putting your workers in danger if you don’t commit to a regular smokestack inspection. Binocular inspections of smokestacks should be done once per year, with full height interior and exterior hands on inspection completed every three years. The Safety, Health, And Welfare At Work (Confined Spaces) Regulations 2001 is a comprehensive list that covers all work that relates to confined spaces. Any unusual signs, such as atmospheric congestion or excessive internal build-up, can warrant an inspection sooner.

Safety is done in small steps. Reach out to a commercial chimney contractor and ask them about your next inspection.

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