Hazard Factors in Industrial Engineering Design

Improving design ideas among engineering students based on safety and hazard factors.

Prevention through design suggests that design is responsibility that causes accidents to happen occasionally rather than man-made mistake due to false decision. Design is the primary tool for engineer to decrease the risk in first hand. At desk scale itself if an engineer could analysis and find the solution to the hazard bottlenecks, then he could save human life and provide the best and safest process plant. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) suggest incorporating the design aspects with safety and hazard prevention to engineering students in their four year courses. They strongly recommend providing knowledge on occupational health and safety principles in classroom itself so they are aware of the industrial hazards of the company that they are going to work.

Some of the important area that hazard factors should be included in the industrial engineering design:

  • Reactors safety valves
  • Pressure towers rupture discs
  • Heating equipments on-off temperature control system
  • Traps and scrubbing system like alkali venture scrubbers and thermal oxidizer

Hazards caused by the false design of the gas, oil and chemicals industry are

  • Blast of pressure vessels, storage tanks and reactor vessels
  • Toxic chemical spill or spreading into atmosphere due to pipeline leaks and flange breaks
  • Fire cause by flammable gases and chemicals, due to runaway reactions

Risk analysis using computers simulation softwares provide data to control the industrial processes by limiting incidents and accidents. Simulations perform tremendous data envelopment analysis foretelling the hazard factors that affect the economic infrastructure. Computer-Aided Design and engineering with 3D visualization helps to develop virtual environment to find real time risk factor during operation hours by an ideal operator.

Man-made hazard factors like fuel spillage occurrence while filling of a fuel storage tank can be prevent by collaborative automation gadgets that built by sensors, measuring tools and image recognizers.

Pipeline and hoses clogging and choking:

Pipelines and hoses are choked up or plug during long run of material transfer due to the scaling and mass built-up. Mainly at the elbows, the material settles and form block and obstruct the flow this leads loss of energy and requires more pump power. Finally it causes the transfer materials leak from the joints and weak points which is hazards to the environment.

If the plugging problem is not attended, eventually the cross section of the pipe decreases and causes the pressure variation that deviate the flow meters instrument reading. One of the famous methods is hydraulic pressurisation.

In highly toxic and radioactive materials must be safely transfer for the disposal and during the process the plugging the pipeline occurs engineers should consider this problem in the design. Mechanical abrasion system or Harben pump jet water pulsation system must be used to unplug the pipeline. This unplugging technology is developed based on scientific principle called fluidic wave erosion. some other technologies are Ridgid snake(used for short pipe length), High frequency pressure pulse methods (it for remote location), Pulse acoustic wave technology (creates a fluid wave), Ultrasonic pressure waves.

Filters and vacuum traps:

One way to protect process pumps and any model vacuum systems from the fluids back streaming by using traps and inline filters. Vacuum system performance decrease and even its machinery gets break down due to presence of condensate that could be carried over on long run. Uncondensed solvent vapours from the process causing the uneven pressure balance in the pipeline and leads to vigorous accidents. In case of steam line water hammering occurs due to traps not removing the condensate from the piping system.