An alert rig site senior mechanic spotted a welder carrying out a job that could have led to an explosion. It is a reminder to check thoroughly what’s inside a tank before welding the outside.
A safety alert from the International Association of Drlling Contractors says: “The rig accumulator supply tank required maintenance which included the task of welding on the tank and piping. The rig site senior mechanic was walking within the vicinity of the job being performed and noticed the welder welding on the tank. The operation was immediately stopped by the mechanic when he realized
the potential explosive atmosphere that existed.
The tank itself had not been purged. The tank lid was still closed and secured in place. The contents of the tank had not been emptied nor cleaned prior to the welding taking place. The welder was not aware of the tank contents. There was not a well defined fire watch being utilized. A fire extinguisher or pressurized water hose was not within the working vicinity as required by policy and the Permit to Work procedure.