Sample points are one of the few locations in a chemical plant where workers can have direct contact with product being manufactured, formulated or processed. If the product is hazardous or at a high temperature, controlling exposure is essential to protecting workers from serious injury.
According to the Hierarchy of Controls (see illustration below), the best way to protect workers is to eliminate the hazard or substitute it with a less hazardous process. In a chemical manufacturing environment, that option is impractical and, in most cases, impossible.
Given this reality, Engineering Controls (ECs) are generally accepted to be the most effective method of reducing or eliminating hazardous conditions, particularly in the chemical industry, because ECs remove the hazard at the source.
There are 5 types of ECs that can be integrated with sample system designs to make sampling safer. They include:
- Simple Design
Sample systems that are easy to use reduce the risks of misoperation, and of accidents occurring.
- Fail Close System
Grab sample systems designed with fail close features eliminate the risk of spills and of other unplanned chemical releases.
- Minimum Leak Points
Sample systems with multiple connections, valves and tubing have many potential leak and fail points, increasing the risk of worker exposure. Systems with minimum numbers of leak points are inherently safer.
- Certified Low Leak Technology
Sample valves that are Certified Low Leak reduce emissions and exposure risk.
- Dead Space Free
Sample valves that are designed with no dead space allow a directly representative sample to be taken every time without purging or flushing. That feature significantly reduces exposure risk and waste.
Determining which ECs are most important for your manufacturing environment can be challenging. We’re ready to use our technical expertise to answer your questions objectively and help you maximize worker safety.