In December 2004, a violent explosion shook Houston, Texas when a failed pressure vessel exploded at Marcus Oil. The 50,000 pound steel pressure tank had been modified by Marcus Oil to accommodate internal heating coils. Unfortunately, the modifications were not made by a qualified welder and did not meet industry quality standards. These changes led to the incident that projected shrapnel half a mile into the community, damaged nearby vehicles and buildings, and knocked out phones and power for half of the state of Texas. Numerous people were injured and three plant workers lost their lives.
Sadly, this incident is one of many. Not all states have adopted safety standards for pressure vessels and even in those that have, some companies still try to make unsafe modifications. If anything can be learned from these accidents, it’s that safety must always come first.
In addition to following safety standards, here are some basic guidelines:
- When obtaining a new vessel, work with a manufacturer that is ASME compliant.
- Have the manufacturer customize the vessel to meet your specifications and usage.
- Train personnel on proper usage of the tank as well as hazards.
- Ensure pressure vessels operated above 15 psig are equipped with correctly sized pressure relief devices.
- Perform regular maintenance on your vessels.
- If repairs or alterations need to be made, only allow qualified personnel to do so and make sure the repairs meet ASME standards.
At Buckeye Fabricating, we have 50 years of manufacturing high quality custom tanks. We understand the importance of safety and will work with you to ensure our product meets your needs and it ensures the safety of your employees. Contact us today to see how we can help.