Effective exposure control technologies used in the petroleum refinery industry were investigated. Seven refinery operations in the United States were visited to obtain design, operating and effectiveness data on engineering controls to reduce or eliminate hazardous exposures, work practices that reduce contact with harmful agents, process or operation monitoring systems that warn of potential or existing hazards, and personal protective equipment that prevent or reduce individual exposures. Specific controls were identified for hydrogen-fluoride alkylation unit exposure, process sampling, hydrogen-sulfide and benzene, toluene, and xylene monitoring systems, oil water separator emissions, benzene loading emissions, equipment maintenance, catalyst dust wet scrubbers, lube oil and wax processing, and construction changes. The authors note that many of the control technologies were implemented for economic, environmental, or fire and explosion hazard reasons, rather than for reasons of employee health and safety. Even so, they are all very effective means for reducing hazardous exposures, and most are already in use throughout the industry. The authors recommend a regular industrywide communication program to enable dissemination of hazard control information, and further detailed studies of control technologies currently in use.
Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering, NIOSH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Cincinnati, Ohio, NTIS PB83-257-436