The United States Department of Labor lists many accidents involving employees near or in contact with a boiler. In 2017, two employees were killed while filling out paperwork when part of a boiler exploded 500 feet away and struck them both. This is an extreme case, but boilers have caused fatalities in both workplaces and the home. It is imperative that boiler safety is taken seriously. NFPA 85-2019 helps contribute to the operating safety of boilers and prevention of boiler explosions and fires.
Several issues can make boilers dangerous, according to The National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. One factor is the lack of education and training on repairing boilers. Another issue is equipment problems. NFPA 85-2019 gives guidelines for boiler operator and maintenance training, as well as guidance for the strength of the structure, combustion and draft control equipment, interlocks, alarms, and other related controls that are essential to the safe operation of boilers and combustion systems.
NFPA 85-2019 addresses minimum guidelines for the installation, operation, and maintenance of boilers. This code covers many types of boilers, such single and multiple burner boilers, atmospheric fluidized bed boilers, heat recovery steam generators, pulverized fuel systems, and stokers. This code also outlines various hazards and considerations that should be paid attention to when working with boilers.
There are quite a few new additions to NFPA 85-2019 from the previous edition of the code. Some changes include:
- Incorporated new and revised definitions for interlock, trip, and permissive and correlated terms related to these for consistency
- Added new language to stipulate specification of auto ignition temperature for fuels over the range of expected operating conditions
- More accurately described the allowed uses of Class 2 and Class 3 igniters
- Annex material was added to provide guidance on the frequency of testing for Multiple Burner Boiler interlocks, and operational leak test frequencies has been clarified and revised to specify the test
- Language was added to clarify that a combustion turbine purge is not needed on subsequent starts if purge credit is maintained
NFPA 85-2019 – Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code is available on the ANSI Webstore.