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ChemSAFE Safe Havens: A Better Solution for Emergency Response Planning

The safety and well-being of personnel is considered a top priority in the chemical production and processing industries. With few options available to provide suitable protection from toxic gas releases during emergencies, it is important to make the most appropriate decisions based on facility size, hazards, operating staff numbers and other critical contributing factors. “Non-built-for-purpose” structures are often used as muster points during an emergency; however, generally these solutions do not result in acceptable levels of leak-tightness for long-duration occupancy during a hazardous gas release. Upgrading existing infrastructure can often be prohibitive and can sometimes cost more than new construction. When faced with these potential outcomes, operators often search for a cost-effective and safe alternative such as a portable safe haven.

MineARC Systems have worked with a number of leading global petrochemical clients over the years, with the goal of improving their emergency response procedures. After nine years of refinements, MineARC’s ChemSAFE Safe Haven is now well-established in the chemical processing industry. Inside a ChemSAFE, a number of vital life-support systems combine to create a safe, ongoing environment for occupants during a toxic chemical release, explosion or other hazardous emergency scenario.

Through careful analysis of a site and its potential hazards, MineARC’s global team of engineers can design a highly customized safe haven to meet specific requirements. Engineers are on hand throughout the entire process to ensure the best possible solution is delivered for every project. During a project for Chemours, located in Ontario Canada, MineARC performed a site visit to their Maitland facility to examine a series of potential locations for a safe haven. Following this, MineARC delivered a tailored report and made recommendations based on the most appropriate solution for Chemours’ emergency response procedure. Confident portable safe havens were a better and more cost-efficient option than converting existing on-site rooms, Chemours Maitland consequently purchased two 26-person ChemSAFE Utility Design Safe Havens.

Another company MineARC has partnered with in recent times is INVISTA in Texas, whose guiding principles place a strong emphasis on the health and safety of its employees. By request, each ChemSAFE Standard Design Safe Haven at INVISTA La Porte features an external vestibule fitted directly to existing office buildings. This ensures an airtight access point for facility personnel to move safely between on-site buildings and the safe haven during an emergency. Unique to INVISTA, the blast rated structural capacity of the units have also been designed to allow free movement with a blast; ensuring that the safe havens maintain their integrity.

The safety and well-being of personnel is considered a top priority in the chemical production and processing industries. With few options available to provide suitable

Most recently, MineARC has collaborated with an Australian liquid ammonia facility to engineer and manufacture a technologically advanced ChemSAFE safe haven solution that met all of their requirements. By request, the custom chambers are equipped with fixed gas monitoring, capable of testing for ammonia both internally and externally. They also feature MineARC’s unique Automated Oxygen Delivery System (AODS), designed to maintain a safe, breathable atmosphere within the safe haven. Once activated, the AODS disperses measured amounts of oxygen into the refuge, maintaining levels between 18.5% and 23%. Each ChemSAFE features a custom six-person, push-button internal vestibule, allowing site personnel to move safely between outside elements and the safe haven during an emergency by eliminating the chance of contaminated air entering the main chamber.

In all cases, these clients elected to utilize MineARC ChemSAFE Safe Havens as opposed to upgrading permanent facilities. The cost for clients was significantly less, with protection far greater than the conversion of a regular building. With the option to integrate a range of life-support functions such as blast resistance, positive pressure flushing systems, gas scrubbing and remote monitoring, MineARC remains at the forefront of the latest safe haven technology, continuing to create new partnerships with companies that take the safety of their employees seriously.

For more info on this media release please contact Jason van Niekerk, MineARC Africa Business Development Manager, on: +27 (0) 11 796-5162 or jason.vanniekerk@minearc.com

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