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Training - Barbarians at the Gate

Tom Meyer
Tom Meyer Member Posts: 300
We've talked about fly-by-nighters, hacks, and the untrained (the "Barbarians at the Gate.")

What happens when things go wrong with steam and hydronic systems? Un(der)-trained people (including our own employees)are lighting a very short fuse to a potential bomb.

Proper formal training, continuing education, and, above all, professional ethics are the only way we can assure our industry (and our customers) are going to survive.

Think I'm being a Henny Penny about this? Read on!

"Boiler and Pressure Vessel Injuries Increase

The total number of injuries sustained as a result of boiler and unfired pressure vessel incidents increased dramatically last year, according to the 2001 National Board Incident Report released by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors.

A comparison of the 2001 report with the year 2000 report indicates a 211 percent increase in the total number of injuries suffered, from 27 in 2000 to 84 in 2001. More than 90 percent of 2001's reported injuries were directly attributable to human error. (i.e., operator error or poor maintenance, low water condition, improper repair, improper installation, and faulty design or fabrication.
A 17 percent decrease in the total number of boiler and pressure vessel incidents was reported, with 2,219 in 2001 compared to 2,686 in the year 2000. Human error was proved to be a factor in 86 percent of the incidents reported for 2001.

A decrease in the number of fatalities occurred, with 14 deaths compared to 12 deaths in 2001.

In 2001, there was 1 injury for every 26 incidents - the third most dangerous period on record. This compares with 1 injury for every 99 incidents in the year 2000 - the safest period on record."

- Southern Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Magazine ( October 2002)


"Proper boiler maintenance is key to eliminating accidents

How important is proper, knowledgeable operation and maintenance of steam and water boilers?

It's downright critical. In the National Board Bulletin published this past summer by the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors, operator error or poor maintenance along with low-water conditions (frequently a result of shoddy maintenance) were far and away the most common reasons for boiler accidents.

This data tells the tale of why boiler owners and operators need to provide correct service and maintenance of this potentially volatile equipment."

- RSES Journal (October 2002)

And if that doesn't convince you there's a problem, just think of the tech that went out to an apartment building on a "no heat" call...and found the janitor was tired of the safety leaking water all over the floor and capped it at the elbow with a plug. (Think I'm kidding...I'm not.) The well-meaning, but thoroughly untrained janitor just put a bomb in the basement of an apartment building. Thank all things holy, the tech shut down the system and called his boss who called the owner of the apartment building.


  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,487
    That magazine

    is required reading.
    Retired and loving it.
This discussion has been closed.