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 a responsibility that causes accidents to happen occasionally rather than man-made mistake due to a false decision. The design is the primary tool for an 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 of safety and hazard prevention to engineering students in their four-year courses. They strongly recommend providing knowledge on occupational health and safety principles in the 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

  • The blast of pressure vessels, storage tanks and reactor vessels
  • Toxic chemical spill or spreading into the atmosphere due to pipeline leaks and flange breaks
  • The fire caused by flammable gases and chemicals, due to runaway reactions

Risk analysis using computers simulation software 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 a 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 prevented 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 the 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 are 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 deviates the flow meters instrument reading. One of the famous methods is hydraulic pressurisation.

In highly toxic and radioactive materials must be safely transferred 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 a scientific principle called fluidic wave erosion. some other technologies are the 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 get to break down due to the presence of condensate that could be carried over on the 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.