Behind the scenes of manufacturing plants and large warehouses is a complex network of mechanical and structural systems. Those systems need to be maintained, and in some cases destroyed and rebuilt. Part of this complicated network are the industrial chimneys that so often mark the night skyline of many parts of the city. When these chimneys need to be repaired or rebuilt, there is a complicated set of steps that must be followed to insure the safety not only of the workers themselves, but the public as well.
In fact, there is an entire industry that is built around the need for industrial chimney inspections and industrial chimney demolitions. Industrial chimney contractors help warehouses and manufacturing plants construct, inspect, maintain, and demolish as needed. Working in conjunction with engineers, maintenance supervisors, plant managers, and plant superintendents, these industrial chimney professionals maintain not only chimney systems, but boiler rooms as well.
Maintenance and Demolition of Older Chimney Stacks Requires Careful Attention to Several Safety Measures
Factories and buildings of all size rely on a complicated system of energy sources. From chimneys that merely release steam to chimneys that release the by products of fires that are run all day long, the kind and age of a factory often determines the amount of maintenance that needs to be addresses, and the safety cautions that are required during demolition.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the smokestack building, maintenance, and demolition industry and the role that it plays in keeping workers, and the public, as safe as possible:
- Maintaining and testing chimney stacks is important because atmospheric oxygen concentration below 19.5 percent or above 23.5 percent are dangerous, and can even be fatal.
- Federal regulations require that new chimney stacks should be accessed and inspected 12 months after beginning service to ensure anticipated performance under load.
- In the last four years, there has been an increase in U.S. smokestacks taller than 500 feet, according to studies from the Government Accountability Office and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.
- Many of the regulations that are a part of chimney stack maintenance are covered in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Confined Spaces) Regulations of 2001 that cover all work that is related to confined spaces.
- The nation saw an 80% reduction in workplace fatalities between the years 1971 and 2015, an improvement that is in direct correlation to the oversight of many work environments like chimney stack maintenance.
- Although full height interior and exterior hands on inspection should be done every three years, binocular inspections of smokestacks should occur once a year.
Industrial chimney demolition is part of a specialized industry that helps plant managers, supervisors, and engineers make sure that their buildings are running as safely and efficiently as possible. Industrial chimney demolition may seem like a very specialized field, but it plays an important role in the safety concerns of many different industries.