Thermaxx Jackets recently had a customer that was seeking to insulate all of the hot pipes and components in their learning facility after an employee had been burned when coming into contact with a bare hot component’s surface. Removable insulation blankets by Thermaxx Jackets are great for improving your steam system’s energy efficiency, but the safety benefits for your personnel are overlooked far too often.
Minimizing the risk of the occurrence of a workplace burn or injury is priceless. Keeping the individuals who occupy your workplace, industrial facility, commercial property, or building safe from a serious thermal burn can be achieved with removable insulation blankets for your pipes, valves, boilers, and other hot components. Additionally, Thermaxx Jackets are designed to improve the aesthetic appearance of your hot pipes and components.
OSHA Requirements & Regulations For Exposure To Hot Pipe & Components
According to osha.gov, OSHA does consider exposed heated surfaces, if there is a potential for injury, to be a hazard and will issue citations if employees can come into contact with such surfaces. While there aren’t any specific OSHA standards, there are general standards that address such hazards such as:
- 1910.261(k)(11): Steam and hot-water pipes. All exposed steam and hot-water pipes within 7 feet of the floor or working platform or within 15 inches measured horizontally from stairways, ramps, or fixed ladders shall be covered with an insulating material, or guarded in such manner as to prevent contact.
- 1910.262(c)(9): Steam pipes. All pipes carrying steam or hot water for process or servicing machinery, when exposed to contact and located within seven feet of the floor or working platform shall be covered with a heat-insulating material, or otherwise properly guarded.
For more information on OSHA’s requirements and regulations, read their standards interpretation here.
Safe Touch Temperature For Hot Piping & Components
Many removable insulation blanket designers & manufacturers aim for a touch temperature of 135-140°F or less when insulating steam pipes and other components. Thermaxx Jackets prioritizes safety in its designs, and aims to lower touch temperatures under 120°F for a few reasons.
According to Dirk Willard from Chemical Processing, there are major differences between the effects a touch temperature of 113°F vs 135°F has on the skin during prolonged contact. The table below demonstrates why keeping your hot pipe or component’s touch temperature or “skin temperature” below 120°F is critical:
|Pipe/Component Touch Temperature (°F)||Effect On Skin After Contact|
|113°F||Minor Damage (threshold of pain)|
|120°F||Thermaxx Jackets Target Touch Temp|
|126°F||First Degree Burns Only Up To This Temp|
|135°F||Severe Damage, Third Degree Burns|
|140°F||Complete & Permanent Destruction Of Outer Layer of Skin (After 5 seconds+), Industry Standard Max Touch Temp|
|212°F||Minimum Temperature Of Steam Leaving A Boiler|