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To: All our Customers using Vacuum Insulated Storage tanks on their sites
To maintain safe operation of on-site bulk liquid gas storage vessels (VIE/VITs) our customers are required to complete a few simple checks to ensure the system remains in good operational condition. The link on the right will open up a PowerPoint presentation which details how to manage your installation on a daily basis.
Please ensure that this communication is received by the appropriate people in your organisation responsibility for Health & Safety and Utilities/Engineering.
Following an incident involving a liquid nitrogen storage tank, both the British Compressed Gas Association (BCGA) and the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued guidance in the form of leaflets and safety alerts.
Whilst the HSE safety alert focuses specifically on the actions to be taken for operators of similar tanks to that which failed, the BCGA L11 leaflet expands the advice to cover the safe operation of all cryogenic storage tanks.
The design of tank that failed incorporated a “hot” piped economiser facility and it was this specific design feature that was central to the incident in question. The vast majority of BOC tanks do not have this particular design feature and are outside of the scope of the specific actions included in the HSE alert. However it is good practice, as a user of Cryogenic storage tanks, to be aware of the overall safe practices that should form part of the daily routine when operating such equipment.
The Specialist department within the HSE that investigated the incident have circulated their findings to the local inspectors who will be vigilant to ensure that the guidance is being followed.
BOC has posted a presentation onto the BOC Industrial internet site which covers the issues raised within the alerts and provides some basic design and operational information on the tanks. This presentation can be used to refresh the training of those operators involved in the use of cryogenic storage tanks and supplements the original handover documentation.
The presentation covers:
- Basic tank design
- The economiser circuit operation
- Indications that would highlight an internal leak
- Good housekeeping and operational practice
- Hyperlinks to the BCGA and HSE documents.
BOC has, in line with the recommendations, highlighted this incident to all its delivery staff, maintenance engineers and installation teams to allow those staff, when on customer’s sites, to be alert to any indications of potential problems with the storage tank.
The limited numbers of tanks operated by BOC of a similar design to that which was the subject of the incident have had the necessary inspections and where applicable the economiser has been decommissioned and locked in the closed position to prevent any further thermal expansion/contraction.
No further action regarding this issue is required by you our customer.
Please take a few moments to review the presentation and where applicable cascade to relevant operational staff within your organisation.