The industrial environment can be hazardous, and there is never any room for complacency even in everyday activities. It is sometimes difficult to control nature as it provides us with the things that can make our world more comfortable. What must be done is to follow well-thought-out procedures that limit risk.
Oil and gas
The oil and gas industry is both profitable and hazardous. Profits seem to be enormous, quoted in billions, yet the companies need such profits to be able to continue exploration with no guarantee of success. Similarly, there are sometimes accidents that result in huge claims, including most recently the Deepwater Horizon Disaster that has cost and is still costing BP huge sums.
Hazardous the industry most certainly is; the exploration, drilling, and supply of oil and gas to terminals do not happen overnight, and they involve the creation of an infrastructure of the highest standards. Gas pipelines, of which there are several kinds, require careful construction and expert welding that must pass the most exacting of standards.
The carriage of gas is under pressure, at different levels; the higher the pressure, the more dangerous the exercise. Pipelines are generally placed underground, just a few feet below the surface. They can be prone to corrosion and methane leakage. They can vary from fairly small pipes to ones that have to carry gas from a number of different sources to their destination. The small single pipes are known as flow lines, the latter gathering lines. In both cases, they require expert construction with thorough checking of the welds as they are completed.
Distribution pipelines are larger, again, and can actually carry gas over long distances, often across national boundaries. Ultimately, the gas is for delivery to everyone from industry to individual households.
We, as consumers, perhaps take all this for granted and simply switch the gas on for heating and cooking without thinking about the huge range of activities that have brought the gas to our homes. Just one of those activities is the welding of pipelines. There is also the checking of their quality before they pass as reliable. That means the use of X-rays to see any fault in a weld. Portable X-ray generators are ideal for checking in the field. They need to work in all kinds of weather conditions as well as uncomfortable and remote terrain. Many of us will have only come across X-rays in a clinic or hospital in clean conditions; medicine has many uses for X-rays, but industry has just as many.
There are many health and safety issues in industry, and the dangers of radiation are among them. X-rays must be taken with safety in mind; there is no substitute for revealing faults that could endanger life and disrupt production.
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