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Safe Coker Egress

Does your unit have protocols in place to address cleanup, debris removal, fire, and other emergencies?

Safe Coker Egress

You know, I just got back from a site visit and I see the same thing again and again. I see egress and access pathways blocked up with debris, dunnage, hoses, insulation, and barrels of trash. And do the people who work in the unit realize that it may be them who are going to have to egress through that pathway one day if there’s an emergency?

“If there’s an emergency, we have to be able to egress.”

–Gary Pitman,

We have a classic example of this happening during a major coker fire where the top unheading device was open– flames were shooting out 300 feet. The operators on the cutting deck could not escape. They ran up to the stairway but it was blocked off from a bunch of maintenance debris and they had to run back through the fire. 

And whose responsibility is this? It’s our responsibility in the unit to make sure people clean up after they do their work. If there gets to be a buildup, we have to get it removed. Every time I go into these plants I see the same thing over and over. How are we gonna solve this problem? Those egress pathways are made for you– you the operator, you the maintenance person, you the contractor, you the engineer that may be troubleshooting something… If there’s an emergency we have to be able to egress.

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Posted by: Gary Pitman