Thanks to the safety and dependability of blast resistant modules (BRMs), gone are the days of shuffling workers to and from portable work trailers far away from the job site. As blast resistant structures have progressed over the years, they have allowed plants and refineries to safely create efficiencies in the day-to-day operations of employees who work in and around the blast zone. Instead of relocating offsite for breaks, a cumbersome and time-consuming task, your entire team can enjoy peace of mind while remaining on the grounds of your job site.
For those who work around hazardous conditions and areas, installing blast resistant buildings provides a safe haven in the case of a catastrophic event. Not to mention, this added layer of protection could reduce the liability of your company as you take measures to keep your workforce safe. From mining operations and facilities handling volatile materials to sites with designated blast zones and other high-pressure processes, blast resistant modules are valuable to a diverse range of commercial industries.
First, let’s take a look at exactly how blast resistant buildings enhance safety on job sites, no matter your industry.
How Do Blast Resistant Modules Improve Safety on Worksites?
Blast resistant modules are built to protect your employees and contractors by reducing the risk of bodily harm and injury due to an explosion. In turn, they can also lessen the financial impact and aftermath of a blast event. BRMs are constructed to highly specific standards to help ensure the safety of occupants working inside the blast zone.
At Satellite Shelters, our blast resistant modules are manufactured with thick, reinforced, welded steel walls with multiple layers of protective material. Other standard structural elements and features of our BRMs include:
- Rated to withstand a blast from 1 to 8 PSI and up to 200 ms in duration
- Adherence to API’s Standard RP-753 guidelines
- Walls reinforced by closely spaced, 1/4-inch-thick structural tube steel columns
- Studs placed close together for extra support
- Oversized HVAC system for comfort
- Electrical ports
- End-wall entry/exit doors to maximize space
Blast resistant modules are built to withstand blasts in all blast radius zones. Additionally, BRMs come in a variety of sizes and configurations, including stackable, multi-level options for additional space in a small footprint. Satellite Shelters can design customized floorplans for practical use on any job site requiring blast resistant modules.
For ultimate convenience, these modular buildings can often be delivered and assembled on site within a 24 to 48 hour period—depending on the delivery location, unit size, and quantity. For custom-made BRMs, turnaround time depends on the features you need for your building. Once delivered, the buildings can also be moved from one worksite to another if needed.
Types of Use Cases for Blast Resistant Buildings
Blast resistant modules can be configured and utilized for a variety of purposes on job sites, including:
- Tool sheds and equipment storage
- Office and meeting rooms
- Cafeterias and break rooms
- Control rooms
- Base camps
- Changing facilities
- Defrag/clean-up facilities
- Storm shelters
Combustible materials and dust explosion hazards exist in a variety of industries. Thus, these blast resistant structures are ideal for essentially any workplace at risk of dangerous blasts.
Refineries and Chemical Processing Plants
From petrochemical plants to refineries for metals, oil, and natural gas, these industries are what keep the country running—supplying products necessary to our daily lives. The products themselves, along with the processes of refining them, make these worksites high risk. Having a temporary or semi-permanent blast resistant module on site for shelter can be invaluable for plant and refinery workers handling dangerous chemicals or equipment.
Food Processing Industry
Similarly, present-day food-handling facilities—like salt and sugar refineries or processing plants for flour, grain, spices, and coffee—execute sensitive processes that deal with powders, solvent extraction, and bulk production. Most types of fine powders in the food industry can form explosive dust clouds. The combination of electrical power needed for these processes and powder particles can prove to be a recipe for disaster if explosions occur in work areas.
Government property is often at a heightened risk of attack, hence the need for constant surveillance and maximum security measures. Whether you need a new on-site security office or an extension to your correctional facility, blast resistant modular buildings can provide better protection over your operations.
Those working to improve the blast resistance of tires and rubber components of military vehicles or buildings can benefit from blast resistant modules on testing sites. For instance, buildings constructed for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) may be required to meet certain blast resistance criteria.
Coal Mining and Processing
Coal mining and processing is another industry at high risk of danger due to combustible materials, whether at a mining site or a processing facility. Especially in tandem with the use of drilling and blasting technology, the threat of blast waves from a coal dust explosion is very serious.
Pharmaceutical Handling, Processing, and Storage
Dust explosions occur when fine particles of combustible organic material are ignited in an enclosed environment. Sometimes even more so than in food processing facilities or wood mills, raw materials and bulk powders used in the pharmaceutical industry are extremely combustible. Therefore, explosion risks are very much active within workspaces handling pharmaceutical products.
Recycling Processing Centers
Recycling facilities handle various types of metal, paper, and plastic products and sometimes even explosive or flammable materials from households—such as paint cans, aerosol bottles, and propane tanks. When these containers are crushed, compacted, or shredded during the recycling process, the risk of fire or explosion increases. Recycling processing centers should be organized in a way that isolates workers from potentially hazardous processes, particularly metal shredding, where possible.
In wastewater collection systems and treatment processes, there are multiple hazardous areas and conditions that can join forces to produce an explosion or fire. Locations with flammable liquids; combustible dusts; gas clouds or combustion gases like carbon monoxide; or buildups of methane and air compositions are all contenders for potential disaster.
Secure a Blast Resistant Safety Shelter for Your Workplace
Satellite Shelters’ industry-leading blast resistant modules are the ideal choice for customers seeking a safe shelter on their job sites. And, offering flexible financing options—including BRM rentals, leases, and purchases—we’re here to help you secure the space you need.
Still have questions? Check out our FAQs about BRMs. To get started today, contact Michele McMurdo, Director of BRM Development, at MicheleM@satelliteco.com or find a Satellite Shelters location near you to get in touch with a local expert!