Workplace Safety: Insulate Your Hot Pipes For A Safer Facility!
There is no doubt that insulating hot asphalt piping, valves, flanges, and flexible hoses provides protection from hazardous hot surfaces. Have you ever considered that it also decreases your liability and risk of agency fines?
At what temperature should hot metal piping be insulated to avoid burning of the skin on contact?
This question was asked to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration OSHA. Although OSHA has no specific standard nor guidelines from which to make a determination to the above inquiry – the agency does consider exposed heated surfaces, and the potential for injury, to be a hazard and will issue citations if employees can come into contact with such surfaces 1.
There are general OSHA standards that address hazards such as heated surfaces. Section 5(a)(1) of the OSHAct is one such standard – it states:
“Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”
The private sector has also addressed the issue of exposed heated surfaces with the “Standard Guide for Heated System Conditions that Produce Contact Burn Injuries (C 1055-92),” that was issued by the American Society for Testing Materials ASTM 2. The established standard recognizes that personal injury resulting from contact with heated surfaces can be prevented by proper design of insulation systems or by the use of other protective measures.
For more information about insulating hot surfaces and improving plant safety, contact one of our insulation experts today – 855-867-8200
1 "Workers must be protected from hazards of heated (hot) surfaces" (August 19, 1998). Occupational Safety & Health Administration OSHA.
2 Scheme for the Identification of Piping Systems, ANSI A13.1-1975, American National Standards Institute. New York, NY: American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
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