Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) - UK

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Profile: HSL is an Agency of the Health and Safety Executive. The Laboratory directly supports the UK Government regulator, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in implementing health and safety policy and regulation. HSL is the UK's leading health and safety research facility, employing over 350 scientists, engineers, risk scientists and technical specialists. Its capabilities encompass a wide range of topics including process safety, safety engineering, risk assessment and specialist technical services. HSL has extensive expertise in the examination of polymer tanks. Examination of the welded areas of these tanks has been a major part of the many investigations undertaken by HSL into tank failure. HSL has helped the UK regulator, HSE, to produce guidance and advice to users on integrity management of plastic pipes.

Role in the project: HSL will provide important information on the critical types and locations of defects found in used thermoplastic chemical storage tanks and will input into defining methods for producing simulated defects in welded joints. In addition, they will provide access to chemical storage tanks that have failed in service for assessment of the prototype inspection system.

Reason for choice as RTD by the SMEs: HSL has unique access to failed thermoplastic chemical storage tanks in the UK and has built up knowledge of defect types and degradation mechanisms in these structures.

Expected derived benefits from project: The findings will be used by HSL to provide guidance to the UK chemical industry on best practice in the inspection of thermoplastic chemical storage tanks. This will help to minimise the risk and keep people safe at work.