Reduce Costs and Increase Safety of Maintenance Operations in a Confined Space

Overview
Power generation and industrial process involve supporting equipment and materials that are located within a confined space. Confined spaces are inherently dangerous and unfortunately, many confined space industrial accidents have resulted in the death and injury of workers. There are regulations and safety mandates in place that do increase the safety and reduce the risks of confined space entries. These regulations improve safety, but they can also increase the cost and complexity of a confined space entry operation. Zistos Corporation has come up with a solution that both increases the safety and reduces the cost of many maintenance-repair operations that involve confined spaces.

The First Step of a Maintenance/Repair Operation
In almost every instance, maintenance and repair operations start out by making a visual assessment of operating conditions, environment and equipment.  This allows the process to move forward with the knowledge of what, if any, problems exist and how to try to remedy the condition.

The Capabilities and Benefits of Remote Video Inspection
A remote video inspection tool such as the Industrial Zoom Pole Camera from Zistos Corporation, allows the worker to make this visual assessment safely outside of the confined space – without the need for entry. The camera system allows the operator to insert the camera into the confined space envelope and view/record the area and equipment for problems using a variety of different camera technologies, such as zoom, low light and even thermal imaging.

This tool has the benefit of increasing worker safety, while simultaneously reducing the complexity and cost of the operation. This remote visual assessment made from outside of the space, not only alerts the worker to the status of equipment/environment in the space, it also increases awareness of any unknown hazards that may be present in the confined space prior to entry. If upon completion of the inspection phase it is determined that there are no obvious problems that require attention, the worker does not even need to enter the space and a confined space entry operation is avoided.

Cost Analysis
In one application, a cost analysis conducted on the use of this video inspection tool yielded a complete return on investment after less than 40 hours of use.   The resultant reduction of operating costs was accomplished by decreasing the number of confined space entry operations.  When confined space entries were deemed necessary, the time spent by workers in the confined space was also reduced. The amount of time spent in a confined space can also be directly correlated to operating costs. This analysis did not even factor in any consideration to reduction of on the job injury or disability claims from confined space accidents.

Summary
The benefits of using a remote inspection tool such as the Zistos video inspection product to keep workers out of confined or dangerous spaces makes sense on every level. The tools facilitate the sound practice of exposing a worker to a potentially hazardous environment only when the need for and safety of entry are confirmed following a visual assessment. The use of this approach benefits both the bottom line of an operation and helps insure the safety and wellbeing of the primary asset of any industrial concern – their employees.

For more information or to schedule a hands-on demonstration of any Zistos system, please visit www.zistos.com or call (631) 434-1370.

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