Q: Why is it dangerous to clean fuel pipes with natural gas?
While using natural gas as a fuel pipe cleaning agent has long been a standard practice in the energy sector, cleaning fuel pipes this way puts workers at serious risk of injury.
Cleaning Fuel Pipes
Combustion turbines are complicated pieces of machinery designed to tight tolerances, and they require a high level of cleanliness. Contaminants may clog a fuel line, lead to premature system wear, and damage turbine blades.
These contaminants can be introduced into the fuel supply lines of a gas-fired power plant in several different ways. During initial construction, the fuel system may become contaminated while it's exposed to the atmosphere. Anything from welding debris, to nuts and bolts, to gaskets and even tools may be left in the pipes. Weld slag is another typical source of contamination. In addition to these foreign materials, condensation inside the pipes may lead to corrosion and rust.
Fuel Pipe Cleaning Injury Risks
Fuel pipes may be cleaned by forcing a slug of natural gas through the lines, and careful planning is required to ensure the right amount of pressure is used. Too little pressure won’t clean the lines, and too much can cause serious damage.
Gas and contaminants exit the system at high velocity, and sharp projectiles may injure nearby workers. Any ignition sources in the vicinity may result in a devastating fire or explosion when coming into contact with natural gas, causing severe burn injuries, and even death.
You Need an Attorney
Employers have a duty to protect their workforce from harm. When they fail in this duty, injured workers deserve compensation for their medical bills, loss of income, and any disabilities they have suffered.
If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to a fuel pipe accident, you need representation by an experienced personal injury attorney. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.