Ravenswood Power Plant
Introduction Comment by zucken01: This section should have included a little bit of information about the industry, how power is produced alternative sources of energy, etc.
Ravenswood Power Plant is a station that generates power for New York independent operator and ConEdison of New York. It is located in Long Island city, Queen, New York, USA. Ravenswood Power Plant is owned and operated by TransCanada. In the 1970s, this station used to generate power from coil, however, now, the station utilizes natural gas, fuel oil, and kerosene to produce 2,480 megawatt to meet the system demand. Ravenswood Power Plant consists of 21 units, within these units gas/oil-fired boiler, Dual fuel capable combined cycle unit, and 17 dual fuel capable combustion turbines. (Ravenswood Generating Station, 2012) Comment by zucken01: It would have been useful to include the recent ownership history of the plant in the introduction Comment by zucken01: editing
The number of employees in total is 200 employees. Further, 30 to 60 employees are working per shiftwork. By providing a good work environment, employees will be able to achieve their tasks safely.
The purpose of this site visit is to be able to identify hazards in a workplace. During the walk through in facility of Ravenswood Power Plant, the safety personal attempts to identify places within the facility that may cause injuries or future illness to employees. Additionally, the safety personal tries to correct the action by using proper method in order to minimize the likelihood of the employees getting injured in the future.
Hazard in workplace
Electric shock: electrical shock is a lethal amount of electricity travel from the source to the body. This type of injury can lead to burn or death. According to OSHA report, electrocution has the highest rate for causing death among electrical power installers and repairs. (OSHA, 2012)
Arc flash: Arc flash is a product of welding process that conducts in the workplace. This flash can damage the lens of eyes and increase the skin effect. (OSHA, 1996) Comment by zucken01: Arc eye
Confined space: confined space is one of the most dangerous places to work in. it has limited access and exit. According to OSHA report, 530 fatalities occurred in the US due to oxygen deficiency. In addition, confined space sometimes result in multiple injuries. (OSHA)
Welding fume exposure: the product from welding process such as carbon monoxide and dust can cause lung disease and increase the risk of lung cancer. The zinc oxide fume is most common metal fumes associated with metal fume fever. Comment by zucken01: CO may come from the welder not the process
Falls: falls from high elevation is consider one of the fourth leading cause of occupational-injury fatality. Since, Ravenswood’s Power Plant employees work in high elevation zone, they are exposed to fall injury at least once in their career life. (cdc, 2000)
Noise: noise is unwanted sound. It can result in hearing loss after prolonged exposure. Also, this type of hazard is very common in such industry that utilizes old technology to produce power such as Ravenswood. Therefore, industries such that type need to develop hearing conservation program.
Cold / heat stress: excessive cold or excessive heat can alter the employees’ manner in achieving their tasks. Comment by zucken01: You have to include a reason why workers may be exposed to such conditions e.g. they have to work outside
Ergonomic: ergonomic issues appear clearly in case of repetitive, forceful, or prolonged exertions of hands. This issue can result in musculoskeletal problem
Slippery surface: slippery surface is known to cause back pain, bone fracture, and requires hospitalization in some cases.
Tripping material: the present of tripping material in the ground is considered the trigger stage for employees to fall from high elevation, struck by other object, or electrocution.
Kerosene: kerosene is known to cause breathing difficulty, blood stool, and dizziness. (The New York TImes, 2013)
Asbestos thermal insulation: pipe covering with thermal asbestos is considered the most hazardous asbestos. It’s used to control the temperature in pipes. Moreover, older asbestos is considered to be the most hazards. (Asbestos) Comment by zucken01: Where does this come from?
Natural Gas: exposure to natural gas can lead to poisoning for employees who work within gas areas. Also, it can cause headache and dizziness, nausea, and breathing difficulty. Comment by zucken01: Explosions
Paint caulk Comment by zucken01: ?
Ravenswood Power Plant is one of the huge complexes that generate power. It occupies 36 acres of New York area. The location is very risky since it is close to high population area. The use of natural gas, fuel, and kerosene to generate power near populated areas can result in some unfortunate consequences. Also, the process of distributing power through transmitters to customers needs to be accomplished in a safe environment and a safe manner. Through the walkthrough inspection, I noticed unsafe act that may result in injuries or illness to employees in the workplace. Machines that are used in the process of generating power are too old and not discipline with the new safety regulations. Comment by zucken01: When you make a statement like this you have to provide some examples from your observations.
There were two employees who were working in gas turbine. Since, the gas turbine is located outside the building, employees had to work in low temperature. In additional, extreme low temperature can cause hypothermia. This type of hazard, physical hazard, could affect the body’s ability to accomplish tasks. Also, the pathway to get to the gas turbine was not clear. Objects on the ground can trip employees walking to or from the turbine. Therefore, the gas turbine needs to be moved to a safe area such as the maintenance hanger to perform tasks safely.
In the way to unit 30, there were two trucks trying to park to get their load off. While one of them was moving backward, the revers sound started to alert people behind it. At the same time, the other truck’s revers sound started. Since, the two trucks’ sounds were on at the same time, the drivers might not pay attention to the sound. In addition, that may result in crash in the site. The ideal method to control this type of hazard is to have an employee to manage the traffic within the plant or offering training for drivers. Comment by zucken01: This is a good point but you probably need a full program /training/ PPE (reflective vests/ written program . You wouldn’t want workers to just start directing traffic without proper training and equipment.
New barricades were installed around the fluid pipe. The idea from the installation is to prevent employees to be close to the areas of the pipelines. However, this control method is not useful since employees can access the areas of the pipelines. Comment by zucken01: You have to include more descriptive information where was the pipe, what was in the pipes (was this conduit?)
One of the employees was rotating the valves manually by using inappropriate tool. This unsafe act can cause ergonomic issue to the employee in the future due to the body strength required for the valve rotation.
Also, heavy tools such as the pressure drill that is used by employees can cause ergonomic issue that will appear clearly after long-term exposure of the vibration of the drill. Comment by zucken01: You should include a little more narrative, description of the tool how it’s used. Etc.
During the inspection, the noise that produced from machines was too high. Exposing to prolong noise cause hearing loss. Employees who are working in this area should be wearing earplugs or earmuffs to reduce the amount of noise that is received by employees. Comment by zucken01: Hearing conservation program
Working inside confined space is considered one of the most hazardous jobs. Further, the site has variety of tanks that need to be inspected by employees for maintenance purposes. However, one of the tanks has a small entering zone, which increases the possibility of employees suffering from physical injuries. Also, the ladder that is attached to the tank has a swinger door that swings outward. Employees find that swinger door not useful for them since employee can’t open the door while climbing the ladder. Comment by zucken01: Recommendation?
Also, a green tag indicated to a problem raised in the workplace. The problem was a leaking from water pipe. Unfortunately, there was nothing underneath the pipes to absorb leakage. In addition, the floor became unsafe area to walk on because it may causes injuries to employees in case of slipping. Comment by zucken01: Recommendation? Signs, barricades to prevent people from walking through the area, prompt cleanup and repair?
Electrical cabinet that controls the power can cause electrical shock to the exposed employees. It’s one of the most hazardous zones within the plant since this area deal with electricity. The cabinet can be opened without authorization. Also, there was no barricade or fens to prevent employees from getting closer to the cabinet. Therefore, installation of rubber mat in front of the cabinet is very important to prevent the power flow from traveling to the body. In addition, switchgear is considered a hazard for employees due to arc flash. Comment by zucken01: Why/how? Comment by zucken01: What other controls should be in place, arc flash protective areas?
Welding station where is the welding process done. The welder is required to wear a shield to prevent the exposure to arc flash and other flying object. Most of the stations are equipped with a black curtain and ventilation tube and the rest without black curtain and ventilation tube. However, the ventilation tubes were installed improperly and small. Therefore, employee is exposed to the remaining fumes that didn’t’ absorb properly by the ventilation tube. Further, the dust was all over the station. Comment by zucken01: What was wrong with the LEV system, what would have been the correct size?
Pressure hose in the ground, this material can be tripping for employee, and result in injuries for employees. Also, employee could step on the hose and disconnect it from the source. Since, it’s pressurized hose, it may hit employees around the hose’s area and causes injures. Comment by zucken01: You have to describe the circumstances.
Moving heavy material improperly such as anchors or barricade can cause injuries to employees. Also, while moving anchors from a place to another, the chain attached to the anchor can cause injury to people or damage to building. Comment by zucken01: Where was this, what was the task?
Recommendation to improve worker safety in the workplace
In this site visit, I have observed numerous hazards that need appropriate action toward them. By correcting these actions, injuries rate of the Ravenswood Power Plant will decrease. In addition, the work environment will be considered the safest among its type in the industry.
Here are illustrations of the most important recommendations: Comment by zucken01: Recommendation should be more specific and include examples.
· Ravenswood Power Plant shall replace their old machine with new machines in order to safe environment without noise or mechanical defects.
· Machines should be moved to an area where employees can work flexibly such as maintenance hanger.
· Ravenswood shall provide training for drivers who drive trucks within Ravenswood Power Plant or provide an employee to organize the traffic.
· Barricade installation shall be in compliance with OSHA regulation.
· Employee shall use proper tools to accomplish their task efficiently.
· Hearing conservation program is recommended since the environment is noisy.
· The safety door for the confined space needs to be a sliding door rather than a swinging door.
· Slippery surfaces should be eliminated to prevent injuries.
· Installation of rubber mat and barricade around the electrical cabinet to keep employee away from the source.
· Welding station needs housekeeping and new ventilation tube to prevent the employee from inhalation the welding fume.
· Employees should remove their equipment after using it to avoid tripping other people and result in injuries.
· Moving heavy equipment need to be with a special vehicle to minimize the likelihood of injuring other employee. Comment by zucken01: You have to explain where you saw the hazard