Oil & Gas Trade Group Issues Portable Buildings Guideline

API, a trade association for U.S. oil and natural gas companies, issued Recommended Practice 753 ("Management of Hazards Associated with Location of Process Plant Portable Buildings") on June 21. The guideline was developed in response to findings about the use of trailers at refineries, including information gained from the investigation of the Texas City BP refinery flammable liquids explosion in March 2005 that killed 15 people and injured 180, ultimately resulting in a $21 million OSHA fine.

Industry experts and API staffer developed the guideline. "Like other RPs and API standards, this represents the best thinking of industry on a safety or technical issue," said API President and CEO Red Cavaney. "The task force carefully considered the Chemical Safety Board's comments and opinions during the development process. Their input was valuable, and many of the issues they raised have been addressed in what was finally approved."

API said there are four objectives for RP 753: 1) Provide guidance on the safe placement of portable buildings; 2) Minimize the presence of personnel in refinery process areas; 3) Minimize the use of occupied portable buildings in refinery process areas; and 4) Design, construct, and install these buildings or trailers to better protect occupants. To order it, visit www.api.org/cat.

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