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Steam System Safety

This standard operating procedure (SOP) applies to all testing, maintenance, or repair of steam distribution systems and/or devices that include steam energy, at or above five psig operating pressure.

Only Davidson College Physical Plant Plumbers and Central Energy Technicians shall be authorized to perform work on Davidson College's steam related systems or devices. All others, including third party contractors, must be under the direction or supervision of an authorized college technician.

Mandatory Requirements

  1. Minimum of two technicians shall be at the specific work site.
  2. At least one technician shall be designated as a safety observer and must have a two-way radio for communication with Boiler Operator, other technicians and the Physical Plant dispatch.
  3. Personal Protective Equipment Policy, Lock Out-Tag Out (LOTO) Policy, and Confined Space Entry Policy shall be additionally employed.

Procedure

De-energizing

  1. Prior to commencement of work, technicians shall:
    • identify to one other who is serving as the lead technician, who is serving as subordinate, and who is serving as the safety observer;
    • identify their work location to each other; and
    • communicate the work plan to each other.
  2. Technicians shall ensure control of the site, managing all others who are in or near the work site or could encounter the work site.
  3. If an instantaneous steam water heater is part of the work or part of the site in which the work is being performed, the water heater shall be de-energized and locked out following lock out-tag out procedure.
  4. Slowly shut off upstream steam supply using isolation valve. If more than one upstream cutoff valve can be accessed and managed, use of more than one upstream cutoff valve is encouraged.
  5. Slowly open downstream steam bleed valve to relieve pressure. Bleed valve is to remain open during the repair or maintenance procedure.
  6. Immediately thereafter, perform lock out-tag out procedure.
  7. Perform repair or maintenance activity.

Re-energizing

  1. Re-establish control of the work site, managing all others who are in or near the work site or could encounter the work site.
  2. Lead Technician communicates with entire work team that the re-energization process is about to take place.
  3. Move all technicians to a place of safety.
  4. Shut off bleed valve.
  5. Slowly open the isolation valve.
  6. Inspect the system, ensuring that repair and re-energized system are functioning properly.
  7. If an instantaneous steam water heater is part of the work or part of the site in which the work is being performed, the water heater can now be re-energized.

The procedure is now complete.