In an industry, the presence of highly inflammable materials, increase the risk of hazard to its container (structure) and to the persons working close to it. The events can turn more dangerous if the structure gets hit by a lightening stroke. That is the reason; for such areas, a higher degree of safety and protection scheme needs to be followed.
If a structure contains highly flammable solid, liquids or gas vapours then consider the following recommendations −
Keep flammable liquid or gas inside an all-metal structure. In case the degree of hazard is high, it is better to go for a gas-tight structure.
Sometimes, due to lack of inspection, a small opening in the gas or vapour chamber leads to trouble. It directs the lightening flames to enter inside thereby causing explosion. So, it is highly recommended to seal those openings.
It is the duty of the safety inspector to put the containers for daily/weekly checks. A keen follow-up will make the flaws public beforehand and the safety officer can take appropriate step to avoid the possible dangerous consequences.
Lightning flames can charge the flammable air-vapour particles easily and can travel through them to their source. In this regard, it is important to keep the air-vapour mixture of these structures away from the contact of lightning by any mean.
Inside the structure, there may be some conductors having space between them. In due course of time, the accumulation of flammable air or vapours inside those gaps can create hazardous situation on being exposed to lightning. When lightning strikes, the flammable air or vapours turn into charged particles and may possibly cause sparks between the conductors. Thus, on a regular safety check, it is required to reduce the spark gaps.
Some locations are prone to lightning and if the structure is present in such areas, then it is likely to get hit by lightning every now and then. Here, the primary duty is to move the structure from that place to another place, more immune to lightning strike, almost immediately. Otherwise, it will lead to catastrophic hazards not only to the instruments present inside but also to the personnel working near to that.
This is in line to the point that we discussed just before. If the structure is not in a condition of getting transferred from the position of a high prone lightning area, then it is important to create multiple zones of protection around the structure. The lightning has to go through a number of protection layers before reaching the structure.