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Importance of Safety in Boiler Operations

Invention of steam power by James Watt, the British Scientist, was a landmark in power generation field since it gave a wing to human civilization to harness energy content of various fuels.

For traction purposes, such as driving trains/locomotives for carrying passengers, rolling road surfaces etc. boiler was used with common fuels like wood but in a major way coal which has been found in large quantity throughout the globe. It has been established as technical fact that boiler operation shall remain an important Industrial Installation for long time to come because of its perennial technical importance.

Safety operating procedures that is SOP, awareness and proper training play a major role as many accidents have been reported in the past due to exploding of boilers, wrongly installed boilers, inadequately designed boilers as well as those which were not correctly operated. Boilers are important, dealing with burning of fuel in large quantities, attainment of high temperature & pressure zones, handling of high energy content steam in bulk, transmission through pipelines and final use of steam for various utility all pose a major threat to human safety as well as property & asset protection because of its gigantic destruction power once its finds leakage/release when the container or pipeline gives way.

Due to such serious nature of operation of boiler & its accessories, every country of the world has framed a stringent and compact regulation on safe use of Boiler operation – including The Boiler Act & Rules under the charge of enforcing authorities such as Boiler Inspectorate or Directorate of Boiler Operation e.g., to ensure the reliability of welding joints in boiler tubes and pipelines, a particular category of High Pressure Welders, holding a special category of ‘Licentiate’ has been made compulsory for boiler industries. Use of special boiler grade of seamless steel pipes is an essential technical requirement. Integrated Boiler combine comprises bulk transportation, handling, storage, crushing, powdering, firing into boiler, super-heated steam generation/storage/utilities and associated high temperature/pressure/energy zone and all these units are full of hazards/risk with large harming potential.

Safety remains the hall-mark at each and every individual operation, operation at sub-assembly of units and thermal power complex altogether. Safety standard operating procedures, technological upkeep, maintenance discipline, shut-down and re-commissioning process, even temporary closure and decommissioning/dismantling phases all need specific and export technical inputs for ensuring safety to working group, people nearby, besides the assets in and around the boiler installation.

Keeping in view the impending hazards and threats in boiler operation, standard operating procedure (SOP), which takes care of safety, production, productivity, quality aspects, needs special care and expertise for framing and introduction. Safety operating procedures, can be best explained via animation. Animation can act as a tool to demonstrate the best practices.

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