The Dangers of Pipelines

Underneath the ground, a network of pipelines and metal tubes carry gases and liquids from one county to another. While pipelines can accomplish a lot of essential jobs, there are times that the pipes pose significant dangers. In the past, the pipelines have resulted in explosions, and dangerous leaks have created hazardous material situations. According to System Engineering and Laboratories (SEAL), there are two important parameters for determining risk for natural gas transmission pipelines.

Engineers can determine the risk of a pipeline leak or explosion by evaluating the pipe diameter and the pressure within the tube. Engineers have been hired in the past to devise means to assess the risks involving pipelines. After researching and experimenting, engineers have determined that they can use heat flux figures to show whether or not a pipeline is a significant hazard. Most heat flux risks are from radiant heat that can come up through the pipes, but there are also times that the pipes can give off conductive and convective heat.

Engineers determined these temperatures when they discerned how many seconds one can be exposed to the heat and gas before receiving blisters. Next, the engineers defined the acceptable heat flux for a structure and used that information to route a location for a pipeline. This way, engineers are able to steer natural gas pipes clear of buildings which could explode if there was a leak.

In addition to this, there are methods of risk assessment that are used by engineers as they create the pipeline routes. For example, engineers are prone to avoid running a pipeline under a school, but may not be as concerned with an uninhabited farmland location. When engineers use this creative data plan to assess a pipeline route, they are able to reduce the danger of harming others.

The United States Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Information says that there were 594 pipeline incidents in America last year alone. 14 people died in these pipeline accidents and at least 60 people were injured, So far this year, there have been 473 accidents that have brought on 12 deaths. 32 people have been hospitalized with injuries from these pipelines and the accidents have cost about $160,164,704 in property damage.

If you are injured in a pipeline incident or your building is damaged because of a pipeline leak, then you need to follow your state code requirements regarding damage reports. In the state of Texas, the Railroad Commission adopted Title 16 of the Texas Administrative Code Part 1 Chapter 18 which is entitled Underground Pipeline Damage Prevention. All pipeline failures must be reported to the pipeline operator and the excavator.

In addition to reporting a pipeline, you can seek damages for any damages that you suffer because of a natural gas pipeline. When engineers or pipeline maintenance workers fail to take your safety into account, you have the express ability to sue them for damages. Contact an Industrial injury lawyer today if you harmed because of a pipe explosion while you are on-the-job or were the victim of a pipeline injury because of a worker’s negligence, then you need to contact Arnold & Itkin today!


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