§195.438 Smoking or open flames. How to comply?

This code section is just one simple sentence, “Each operator shall prohibit smoking and open flames in each pump station area and each breakout tank area where there is a possibility of the leakage of a flammable hazardous liquid or of the presence of flammable vapors.”

Written as a performance requirement it gives wide latitude to the operator to determine how best to comply.  But what is acceptable to the regulators?

The following from PHMSA’s Enforcement Guidance provides an answer.

§195.438  Compliance

Enforcement Guidance
O&M Part 195

Revision Date
09-28-2011

Code Section
§195.438

Section Title
Smoking or Open Flame

Existing Code Language
Each operator shall prohibit smoking and open flames in each pump station area and each breakout tank area where there is a possibility of the leakage of a flammable hazardous liquid or of the presence of flammable vapors.

Origin of Code
Original Code Document, 34 FR 15473, 10-04-1969

Last Amendment
Amdt. 195-22, 46 FR 38357, 07-27-1981.

Interpretation Summaries
None

Advisory Bulletin/Alert Notice Summaries
None

Other Reference Material& Source
None

Guidance Information
1.  The operator must have written procedures.
2.  An operator’s procedures should describe how they identify and mark areas where accumulating flammable vapors or liquids present a hazard and how they prevent smoking and open flames within those areas.
3.  No smoking and no open flame signs must be posted in accordance with their smoking and open flame procedures.
4.  Operator personnel and contractors (as well as PHMSA inspectors) must observe the operator’s smoking and open flames policy and posted signs.
5.  An operator should take precautions to minimize the potential of accumulating flammable vapors or liquids when they are a hazard.
6.  Final Order Guidance:
a.  Nustar Logistics L. P. [4-2005-5048] (March 11, 2009) – Found that the operator had failed to post No-Smoking signs at entrances to its pump station facilities.  Operator argued that they had followed their O&M no smoking and open flame procedures and that § 195.438 was followed.  The Final Order stated that an operator’s procedures alone did not provide warnings to visitors who may not be privy to the operator’s procedures upon entering the facilities, and No Smoking signs must be installed.  CO

Examples of a Probable Violation
1.  The lack of procedures is a violation of 195.402 Procedural manual for operations maintenance and emergencies.
2.  The lack of records is a violation of 195.404 Maps and Records.
3.  The operator did not follow written procedures.
4.  An operator’s procedures do not prevent smoking within areas of accumulating flammable vapors or liquids.
5.  Operator’s inspections or notes indicate a deficiency with its Smoking and Open Flame policy or its implementation but there have been no follow-up actions.
6.  “No Smoking/No Open Flame” signs are not posted in accordance with the operator’s procedures. Personnel are not observing no smoking and no open flame policies of the operator.

Examples of Evidence
1.  Operator’s procedures.
2.  Photographs.
3.  Lack of procedures or records.

Other Special Notations
None

All this and more including PHMSA’s Enforcement Guidance in WinDOT, The Pipeline Safety Encyclopedia.

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