Mechanical Integrity

Our Path to an Incident-Free Workplace

In researching industry injury data, PSC realized that when it comes to workers losing their lives on the job; not all types of accidents are created equal. When it comes to slips, trips and falls, for example, it could take over 12,500 lost work day cases before anyone lost their life from this type of incident. For fires and explosions, on the other hand, the likelihood that an accident of this nature would lead to a fatality is significantly higher. These realizations lead to our hose failure analysis program (shown in the video below) as well as many other industry leading initiatives.

 

Events where there is a fire and/or explosions, exposure to harmful chemicals, or exposure to the release of stored energy are one hundred times more likely to cause a fatality than a slip, trip or fall.  This U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) fact was the driver behind PSC's Mechanical Integrity (MI) Program.  

To begin our MI Program, we assembled a team of PSC engineers and field experts, along with strategic equipment supplier engineers and fabrication experts. Our team started with a HAZOP-type analysis of our liquid vacuum and hydroblasting systems, as the work involving this equipment was deemed highest priority. The objective of the HAZOP was to gain a fundamental understanding of how our equipment works and how it can fail, in an effort to significantly improve equipment design and operating procedures as well as to standardize equipment safety features, training and operational procedures, and to establish clear maintenance and inspection programs.  

Once the goals had been met, PSC built an operational organization whose sole function was to implement equipment recommendations from the result of the HAZOP process and manage the supplier relationships for implementation.  The process proved so successful that PSC is incorporating additional equipment scopes into the MI Program. 

Since 2012, the MI Program has accomplished the following across the PSC system:

  • Hydroblast Systems:
    • All high-pressure hydroblast hose systems have been replaced with upgraded equipment, featuring established specific life limits on all hoses.
    • Each high-pressure hose system is color coded, to include hoses and fittings, and communicated to the field to ensure all field employees understands compliance requirements.
    • All hoses undergo an annual independent testing and recertification program.
    • Every hose has a unique asset number for online verification of equipment history.
    • All shotgun systems have been replaced with a redesigned system, including certified protective shrouds.
    • All safety shrouds were replaced with a shroud system that was pressure tested by PSC at 60,000 psi.
    • PSC launched the Fully Automated Site (FAST) Program with risk-based methodology for implementing automated equipment.
    • The first and only life cycle analysis of hydroblast hose failures related to hose age was completed.
  • Vacuum Truck Systems:
    • The implementation of an on-board ground verification system (Newson Gale MGV) for all vacuum trucks was completed to ensure not just bonding of the equipment, but that our trucks have a verified ground.
    • The development, testing and implementation of all new, fully bonded hoses for all liquid vacuum trucks was implemented and completed.
    • A fully DOT-compliant fleet for in-plant service, meaning at PSC, every tanker meets minimum thickness requirements at all times, no exceptions.
    • Rodeaco anti-runaway systems for all liquid vacuum trucks were installed to prevent engine runaway and backfire generated vapor ignition. 
    • The installation of state-of-the-art vapor control systems for liquid vacuum trucks operating in high VOC or H2S environments. 

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