20 June 2007 17:58 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Wednesday it has completed new safety guidelines for portable buildings at refineries in response to the deadly 2005 BP refinery explosion in Texas.
The API guidelines, to be released on Thursday, came nearly two years after the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board asked that API develop guidelines that addressed portable buildings.
The process took so long because the guidelines are complex and because API follows a formal process which requires feedback from members, said Red Cavaney, API president. He made his comments during a conference call on Wednesday.
"For something as complex as this and following the procedures we have, this broke some new ground," Cavaney said. "I think the industry did the responsible thing."
The standards divide refineries into three zones, each of which has its own guidelines for portable buildings. One zone prohibits all portable buildings.
The recommendations are not requirements, since the API, like other trade groups, is prohibited from imposing regulations on its members, Cavaney said.
However, the industry will take the recommendations seriously, he said. The taskforce that created the recommendations included company representatives.
The guidelines are in response to the 23 March 2005 blast in Texas City that killed 15 workers and injured 180 others.
Most of the workers killed were in portable trailers near hazardous process equipment.
At the time, API had general guidelines for the location of buildings at refineries, said Karen Matusic, group spokeswoman. However, API did not have specific recommendations for portable buildings.
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