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Proper Bonding and Grounding Protects Workers

The Carbis Team | Mar 28, 2013 8:04:00 AM

It's impossible to completely eradicate static electricity — it's everywhere. And when your job is dealing with flammable liquids one tiny spark can cause a whole lot of damage. Before a driver begins pouring, filtering, pumping, or mixing any flammable liquids, proper bonding and grounding must take place.

Improper bonding and grounding can result in damaged property, fires and severe injuries or even death for workers and those around them. A split second is all it takes so be sure you and your employees take bonding and grounding seriously.

Each term is slightly different:

Bonding connects pieces of conductive equipment together to keep them at the same potential. When connected objects have the same potential, static sparking will not occur.

Grounding is a special form of bonding. Instead of connecting pieces of conductive equipment, grounding connects equipment to the earth so there will be no sparking between conductive equipment and grounded structures.

Several factors can influence the rate of static generation. Following are some instances where static electricity is generated quickly and ways to lessen its effect:

  • Filling Operations can create turbulence, which in turn causes static electricity. Turbulence is created by large flow rates and splashing. Eliminate free-fall of flammable liquids whenever possible by lowering fill velocities, diverting the liquid down the side of the grounded vessel, or place fill pipes below the liquid level in the container.
  • Filtration that covers large surface areas can generate electrostatic charges up to 200 times the charges generated in the same system without filtration. To remedy this, install filters far enough upstream so the liquid has more time to relax prior to discharge.
  • Piping Systems have static charge accumulation created by a combination of pipe diameter and length plus the liquid’s flow rate and velocity. So be certain workers are using the correct size pipe to keep velocity low and stick with a maximum velocity of 15 feet per second.

Newer, more advanced “electronic verification systems” can take any guesswork out of proper grounding thanks to continuous visual and electronic confirmation. Some systems have alarms as an extra layer of protection. The functions interlock so if a driver is not properly grounded, no procedures can take place until a correct ground is achieved. Safety is the main issue when loading and offloading flammable liquids. Invest in systems that automatically confirm positive static ground connection and only allow product transfer when the truck is grounded. Monitoring should be continuous throughout the entire transfer.

An explosion on the job site can cost lives, damage property and so much more. Effective grounding and bonding will ensure safe dissipation of static electricity. This can help prevent these horrific scenarios from happening. Ensure all workers are safe with proper bonding and grounding equipment followed by on-going training.

Click Here or call 1-800-948-7750 to contact Carbis today, we’ll help you determine the best bonding and grounding equipment for your company.

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