Plant Safety and Fire Protection Pharmaceutical Industrial Management (Pharm 5211): Section B
Introduction Accident prevention & fire protection – part of any industry Extremely important in bulk drug manufacture (synthetic, biologic or microbiological) Begins with design of plants (buildings, equipment and processes) Plants – regularly examined to decide upon safety and fire protection. Majority of present day accidents and fires due to human causes. Now, the objective is to remove human factors from fire hazards.
Legislation State regulations governing safety and fire protection measures for buildings, equipment and processes. Necessary to examine that these regulations are being followed. State compensation laws require compensation insurance and reports of meeting these provisions.
The industrial plant: Location Depends on many factors e.g., raw material supplies, transportation facilities and labour supply Safety and fire protection is particularly important where corrosive, poisonous and explosive materials are being handled or produced. Make sure that location of plant offers no undue danger to adjacent life and property. State laws – consulted and satisfied.
The industrial plant: Arrangement of buildings To permit economic production as well as to provide safety and fire protection by constructions e.g., fire walls, barricades, etc. efforts to limit the height of factory buildings, to provide good separation (50 ft or more between important units), to minimize conflagration (great and destructive fires) areas by fire stops. Buildings for hazardous occupancies or explosives – segregated, isolated or barricaded to prevent life loss and property damage.
The industrial plant: Arrangement of buildings Distance between buildings depends on type of construction, area, height, importance of unit to existing plant, hazards of processes, land available for present manufacture and future extension, costs involved and available protection. Also, the extent of exposure from outside properties not under the control of plant influences…. Minimum overhead clearances for footways, roads, rail roads, etc.
The industrial plant: Arrangement of buildings Water supply for fire protection from at least 2 sources: Primary supply – automatic, of good pressure, limited capacity, connection from a reliable public water system or a gravity tank of 100,000 gal. elevated at 125 ft. Secondary supply – fire pumps located in an isolated or properly protected fire resistive pump house with an unlimited suction supply. If natural water supply unavailable, concrete reservoirs with adequate filling connections are necessary.
The industrial plant: Fire mains, hydrants & hoses An independent system of underground fire mains supplying sprinkler systems and yard hydrants Size of mains, branches to individual hydrants and the way they are coated, insulated and laid in the underground should be based on specifications. Hydrants are located such that 2 streams are available for a building. Standard single jacketed, cotton, rubber-lined mill yard is preferred because of its flexibility and low friction loss.
The industrial plant: Fire alarm equipment Fire alarm systems for promptly notifying the fire brigade and exit of employees Should operate on closed, electrically supervised circuits Installed in conspicuous locations and mounted to resist vibration Inside buildings, located near exits.
Buildings: Type of construction Should not be of frame construction Non-combustible or fire resistant construction is preferred Construction of door openings, windows and walls such that fire cannot spread from one building to another.
Buildings: Type of construction For large floor areas or combustible construction, fire wall cutoffs (of at least 13 in.), door openings protected with single or double automatic fire doors. For multi-storied buildings, each floor entirely cutoff from other floors & all openings (e.g., stairways) equipped with automatic fire doors.
Buildings: Exits Exits of ample capacity – provided to accommodate employees in case of fire and panic Exits should enable them to reach a place of safety outside working building. Should have at least 2 means of exits from each storey.
Buildings: Lighting Factors affecting human eyes must be considered in design and installation of lighting. These are reflection, absorption, distribution, diffusion, intensity, steadiness, colour, and glare.
Buildings: Lighting Height, spacing, size of lamps and type of reflection – considered. Light from above is better than light from side or windows only. 4 artificial lighting systems: direct, indirect, semi-indirect & local, depends on nature of works.
Buildings: Colour In painting walls, floors, ceilings, machines, machine parts, piping, etc. Inferior lighting – improved by proper use of various colours Eye strain – reduced by scientific blending of backgrounds Hazardous machine parts, dangerous materials, traffic hazards, warning signs and protective equipment – designed with standard safety colour code.
Buildings: Ventilation Depends on amount and distribution of air supply, temperature, humidity, motion, velocity, odours, dust, bacteria and toxic or flammable vapours. • Proper ventilation for all people in a confined space • Removal of harmful or dangerous substances in the air
Buildings: Ventilation Deficiency of oxygen or high humidity results in excessive fatige Air supply system whether by windows, a forced draft system, a suction system or combination – depends on conditions. For harmful or flammable dust or vapour, keep them below harmful or hazardous concentration.
Buildings: Sanitation Change rooms with lockers, wash rooms, lunch rooms and toilet facilities – adequate for all employees. Hygiene among workers – to combat health hazards and for efficiency. Shower baths for workmen if dirty or exposed to poisonous dust, fumes or vapours. If necessary, special working clothes, supervise and provide washing facilities for these clothes. A drinking water system meeting health codes and with regular chemical and bacteriological analysis.
Buildings: Automatic sprinkler systems The best, simple safeguard against loss of life and property by fire. A device for distinguishing fire and automatically discharging water on fire Automatic feature is secured through…. • heat from the fire melting a soft solder compound • bursting the bulb due to expansion of liquid (bulb type sprinkler)
Buildings: First aid fire extinguishers For incipient fires & installed with other equipments e.g., sprinklers and inside hose. Incipient fires are of 3 categories: Class A fires – in ordinary combusting material where quenching and cooling effects of water is important Class B fires – in oils, greases, flammable liquids, etc. where blanketing or smothering effect of extinguishing agent is important Class C fires – in electrical equipment where non-conducting property of extinguishing agent is important
Buildings: Equipment Properly guarded and free from protecting shafts, exposed moving parts and projecting set screws. Automatically fed machines – preferred and point of operation – adequately guarded. Rolls or other equipments with moving parts – provided quick stopping devices (either automatic or manual) Remote controls – for machines with explosive substances. Suitable means for adequate cleaning without undue hazards Pressure vessels – installed in accordance with Boiler Construction Code.
Buildings: Guarding of general machinery Adequate permanent or temporary protective appliances for new and existing machinery. Guards – mostly metal, rarely wooden. All belts and pulleys within 7 ft. of ground, platforms, stairs, etc. – to be protected against contact. Detailed designs for passage through belts, passage over belts, protection against belt breakage, belt clearance, belt facing pulley speeds and maintenance, belt shifters and clutches. No projecting set screws, bolts, keys, etc. on shafting pulleys, gears, etc. (unless protected by closed guard)
Buildings: Railings To provide protection against falling, slippings from elevated platforms, walkways, etc. Standard railing on all open sides and ends (if vertical drop of 4 ft./more) Slipping hazards If grease, caustic, paraffin, etc. contribute to slippery condition, choice of surfacing is important. Nonslip materials e.g., feralum, lead, rubber matting, expanded metal should be inserted where necessary (especially at all dangerous hand-fed machine.
Buildings: Floor plates, flush covers, trap doors, etc. Abrupt minor changes in floor level - avoided. Piping, valves, steam traps, etc. – should not project into footways. For stairs, best angle – 350 (not exceeding 450) height of rises – 7 in. width of tread – 10 in. Stairs are preferable to ladders. Portable ladders are unsafe on metal flooring, should be secured (e.g., by safety feet or holding).
Buildings: Skids Permanent skids for receiving or storage of drums or barrels. Should be planked solid between each pair of rails. Clearance between ends of drums –not less than 12 in. Processes Handle corrosive, poisonous or dangerous substances in closed equipment If not possible, in case of poisonous dust or gas, special ventilation units should be considered.
Buildings: Tanks, Vats, Pans, Location For containers of hot, corrosive or dangerous liquids……… 36 in. of separation – to routes passing along sides 72 in. of separation – to stations 72 in. wide – passage between 2 rooms or rows of open containers No routes or stations directly below open containers. Unused spaces below such tanks should be blocked and marked.
Buildings: Flammable liquids Storage and handling of volatile, flammable liquids – precautions to minimize hazards. Inherent fire and explosion hazard depends on flush point, apparent ignition temperature, explosive range, vapour density, air diffusibility of the vapour in air, etc. Combustion: chemical change with evolution of heat and light. Slow and rapid combustion, fire, apparent ignition temperature, flush point, flush fire, explosive range, vapour or dust explosion, explosion or detonation, pressure rupture, spontaneous combustion, decomposition
Buildings: Location & arrangement of storage tanks for flammable liquids Strength, capacity and location of storage tanks, vents, dikes and quick closing valves in pipe lines should be considered. The most common method of storage is above-ground, outside-tank Depending on construction, tanks are of 4 groups: group A, B, C & D Three methods of handling are – by pumping, by gravity and by compressed air or inert gas. Pumping is preferred to gravity discharge.
Buildings: Static electricity Generated from……. • handling materials – solids, liquids or gases • operation of equipment such as belt • Handling of dry granular substances e.g., sulphur in metal chutes • Flow of certain liquids in pipe lines. Discharge in presence of flammable dusts or vapours is considered hazardous.
Compressed gases in cylinders Definite regulations must be met in filling and transporting. Important precautions……. • Extreme care in handling cylinders – don’t drop or strike against each other • Don’t tamper with safety devices on cylinders • Use special wrenches or tools (from manufacturers) on valves • Protect excessive rise in temperature and extremes of weather • Keep full cylinders separate from empty ones • Should have a conspicuous standard label indicating kind of gas; colour of label shows whether gas is inflammable, corrosive or inert.
Dust explosion Can occur in any combustible dust or any material that burns or oxidises including metallic dust. Explosive range – below lower limit, no flame propagation; above this limit, burning but no explosion. Degree of flammability depends on its moisture content and fineness. The drier and finer the dust the greater its flammability. Dilute below the lower limit of explosive range and immediately remove while in diluted state. Keep the premises very clean; eliminate all sources of ignition.
Special safety protection equipment Use of protective equipment – secondary measure against injury and health hazards. To protect head and eyes, use goggles, shields, helmets, hooks, maskes, hats, etc. Use proper respiratory protective devices in breathing of poisonous gases and fumes or of oxygen-deficit atmosphere. Use rubber or canvas gloves, rubber boots, aprons, shoes and other clothing to protect hands, arms, legs and feet.
Safety and fire protection organization A central committee: chairman – Plant manager or Asstt. Plant manager secretary – safety and fire protection supervisor members – remainder of plant executive staff Departmental committee: chairman – head of the department members – 4 men Central committee takes care of general policies at central level. Departmental committee is responsible in their departments.
First aid So that injured persons can be cared for in emergencies and until further treatment is secured. Full time plant physician otherwise small industrial first aid units Under care of a competent, all time available and trained person
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