Marine Chemist Service is the manufacturer and distributor of the patented BHISD (an acronym for Burning Hose Identification & Security Device). The BHISD was designed from many years of experience in the ship repair industry with safety and savings in mind. As a result, the BHISD has several very unique features benefiting not only the burners (a.k.a. cutters) that use it, but also their employers and even customers.
A Safety Device
The primary advantage of using the BHISD stems from its intended use as a safety device. As such, it was designed to prevent gas and/or oxygen associated with metal cutting operations from discharging into enclosed spaces. The BHISD accomplishes this by a positive and secure means of lockout/tagout. Thus, the “integrity of the burning rig/fuel gas and oxygen burning system” is maintained in accordance with 29 CFR 1915 SubPart P (Fire Protection in Shipyard Employment) in order to help prevent fires and explosions. OSHA has even recently issued an official Letter of Interpretation stating the BHISD satisfies their provisions in the applicable section of the aforementioned SubPart.
Identifying Both Ends
Burners must be 100% certain which fuel gas and oxygen lines are connected to supply manifolds. Consequently, the BHISD offers a positive means of identifying both ends of burning hoses with personalized numbers, which is in stark contrast to “trial-and-error” hookups and disconnects. Considering the dozens of open fittings and thousands of feet of hose, the possibility of accidentally connecting, or even disconnecting, the wrong line is significant. When this happens, gas and/or oxygen can be discharged into an enclosed space creating an unsafe condition, especially if the situation is not noticed soon enough and subsequently secured.
A Security Device
The BHISD was also designed to be used as a security device. It protects against unauthorized use of fuel gas and oxygen lines by untrained employees, contractors and even customers which, again, could result in a mishap. Short of physically damaging the device through deliberate and excessive force, it is virtually impossible to break the BHISD’s security features (in addition to its design, the BHISD is made from Dow Chemical’s ISOPLAST). Opening it, though, is a simple matter with the proper key to release the single shank of the accompanying specialty lock.
In addition to the safety and security features mentioned above, immediate savings can be realized from the first day the BHISD is put in service. Even better, the savings continue to accumulate from that day forward. Direct cost savings come from eliminating the need to pull burning hoses into and out of enclosed spaces. Though the labor required to perform this day-in and day-out function is necessary, the hours are, nonetheless, wasteful; and very costly considering there is an alternative with the BHISD. And, though there is no alternative when it comes to confined spaces, hoses can, nonetheless, be rolled back to the nearest enclosed space (which can be a considerable time savings since many confined spaces are located in the bottom of a vessel, while pull-back positions to manifolds are usually located up on main deck or other open-air areas).
By some estimates, only 15 minutes are needed to prepare 100′ of burning hose for use (assuming the hose is already on the vessel, right where the burner left it last, and he or she does not have to begin the process back in a tool room). Usually starting at a gas manifold out in “weather,” the burner begins untying and unraveling the hose. The burning hose is then laid out along the shortest possible route to get down to the bottom (or upper sections) of an engine room or other enclosed space. In order to accomplish this, hoses are hung above overhead pipelines, cable runs and the like, which may require the use of a stepladder, etc. Sometimes routed hoses are even fed through bulkheads, if a large enough opening can be found. Obviously, all of this takes time, and a good measure of patience.
Because burning hoses cannot be left unattended for extended periods of time, they are routinely rolled back just before lunch and near the end of each day’s shift. Therefore, the aforementioned 15 minutes needs be multiplied by 4 to take into account two hose-pulling episodes, each followed by two roll-backs per burner every work day. Using the national 2003 Bureau of Labor Statistics for burners of $15.18/hour, this amounts to $15.18/day for every burner. For the world’s largest, private shipyard with 1,200 burners, this cost adds up to approximately $18,000/day:
(15 minutes)(1 hour/60 minutes)($15.18/hour*)(4 times/day)(1,200 burners) = $18,216/day
*according to 2003 BLS, the local wage is $17.12
Of course, not every job is down in the engine room of a tanker or aircraft carrier; nor does every yard have 1,200 burners. However, even for a small shipyard with only five burners, each making around $10.00/hour and taking only 5 minutes to pull/hang hoses on, for example, a tugboat, the daily savings would still be $25.30 (or $6,578/year); and this does not take into account FICA, taxes, other perks and/or provisions for overtime. Furthermore, this excludes the labor for employees of one shift looking for their hoses “borrowed” by employees of another shift (and possibly having to go back to the tool room and check out even more hose if they cannot find the original).
There are even more indirect savings that come from using the BHISD and they, too, are very real and significant. Best of all, these savings continue to accumulate with each day’s use. Together, with the direct cost savings just mentioned, a 100% Return On Investment (ROI) can be realized in as little as one week of full-time operation:
- minimizing injuries by not carrying and pulling hoses down ladders as frequently
- implied here are lower worker’s compensation claims,
- lower insurance claims and premiums,
- and lower absenteeism; hence, lower down time from key trades’ people
- minimizing equipment losses associated with
- “borrowing” or rerouting hose from one location to another,and more serious considerations of hose theft
- equipment wear & tear from cutting hoses and banging torches while pulling them
- hose and torch contamination from weather (e.g. rain), sandblast grit, etc.which can extinguish flames, cause sputtering and ruin threads
- better use of wage dollars to cover actual costs of goods instead of overhead
- increasing productivity due to
- cutting metal during the hours saved, instead of wasting time hanging hose
- increasing employee moral by eliminating the mundane tasks of pulling hoses
- eliminating the possibility of expenditures for legal defense by using approved equipment and procedures
- the BHISD is the only OSHA 1915 Subpart P Proposed Rule mentioned alternative device in the world for pulling hoses from enclosed spaces
- OSHA has subsequently issued an official Letter of Interpretation stating the BHISD satisfies their requirements.
- the BHISD is also U.S. Navy (through SUPSHIP Portsmouth, VA) approved for use as an alternative procedure to NAVSEA Standard Item 009-07
Since the BHISD can be used in all burning operations involving fuel gas and oxygen in enclosed spaces and open-air (weather deck) work aboard ship, it has strong universal appeal. The BHISD can also be used off-ship including work areas inside shipyards and other facilities. Even for strictly land-side operations, many of the aforementioned benefits can be realized from using the BHISD.
Marine Chemist Service is so confident in the positive means of identification, safety, security and cost savings associated with using the BHISD that they offer a 30-day free trial evaluation. With each shipment, they also enclose a copy of their NAVSEA approved procedure which can be used as a template for inclusion into existing safety programs. To obtain more information on either of these, answers to questions regarding specific applications of the BHISD, receive a full-color trifold brochure or place an order, please contact Customer Service here at Marine Chemist Service. A four page, color flyer is also available for immediate review.