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These books, CDs, and videos have been reviewed by our staff or by our clients. The materials were found to be valuable professional reference and training tools. We have authored a successful technical book, video, and training materials that were used worldwide. That experience gives us a better appreciation of the needs of our niche readers. It has also served us well in seeking out, finding, and in critically reviewing the materials we list.

Chemical Operator's Portable Handbook
By Jack Ballinger
Published by McGraw-Hill Handbooks

  There are a number of handbooks for scientists and engineers. The author’s goal with this readily useable reference is to present those topics most useful to CHEMICAL PLANT AND EQUIPMENT OPERATORS.

  The NST Engineers, Inc. reviewers agree that the author has succeeded in delivery of those topics, and in a writing style and with graphics presentations that will appeal to operators. Having worked with plant operators for many years, we have found that they can work in this field for quite awhile and still have nagging questions about the properties and reactions of materials and physical measurements involved in their daily work. This book leads them to many answers. Supervisors of operators should consider placing copies of this handbook in the hands of their operators. The supervisors themselves, plant engineers, and most plant personnel will find the book to be a handy desk reference.

  The book begins by covering industrial safety topics. Major OSHA regulations affecting operators are listed. For the sake of brevity and to maintain true “pocket-guide” size, regulations are cited and described however, since the full text is available on the internet, their inclusion would just be clutter. Safety in handling of chemicals gets special attention. For self-protection, operators need every safety reminder they can practically use.

  The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board reports that, on average, there are roughly 60,000 "commercial - chemical" incidents per year. At plant sites there have been about 30 deaths per year and about 1,000 injuries.

  Plant and equipment operators are regularly called upon to make physical property determinations. They and must clearly understand the “short-hand” of chemical nomenclature. The author covers the most common properties (melting point, boiling point, flash point, density, specific gravity, viscosity, and surface tension) together with sketches of equipment arrangements for their measurement.

  It is necessary for the chemical operator to understand not only what the job entails but the more important issue to the operator may be understanding why certain things occur. Some basic knowledge of inorganic and organic chemistry is necessary to provide these answers. In several sections, the author provides a unique blend of rudimentary, basic explanations of matter, how to read the periodic table of the elements, bonding, chemical and structural formulas, figuring molecular weights and naming. Of every day use is the discussion of molecular, mass, and volume relationships along with a detailed discussion of solution terminology and acids and bases. The chemical families are clearly described along with their occurrence and uses in industry and specific precautions to take when handling them.

  All employees who deal with chemicals in the workplace are required by OSHA to be trained in the Hazard Communication Standard or HAZCOMM. In the section of the handbook on Chemical Handling, chemical labeling and packaging are well covered. Also covered are: material handling (forktrucks), bonding and grounding (flammable materials), spill cleanup for the different groups of chemicals, and chemical disposal. Confined spaces (such as tanks, vats, columns, reactors, and mixers), that are usually encountered in the chemical process industries, are defined and OSHA’s Permit Entry system is explained. Lock-Out / Tag-Out and Blanking, both of which are integral parts of the confined space standard, are defined and illustrated. Having several years of OSHA training experience, it is one reviewer’s opinion that this section, along with the section on MSDSs, if mastered, would fulfill OSHA’s requirements for HAZCOM training.

  As the primary means of conveying liquid and gaseous chemicals is by pumps and compressors, understanding the section on pressure and vacuum is essential. Thorough coverage is given to the operation and troubleshooting of pump systems along with explanations of pressure and vacuum measurement. These explanations will help prevent the confusion many operators experience with psig and psia measurements, for instance. The reader will also learn how different types of pressure gauges work.

  Other sections such as Fluid Mechanics and Plumbing, Standard Operating Procedures, Basic Electricity, and Process Operations contain information with which the chemical operator should already be familiar. However, they are excellent references none the less. The section on Energy, Work and Power will take the guess-work out of chemical energy and electrical power calculations, and pump and motor selection.

  Throughout the handbook, the author provides tables, conversions, calculations, and examples that allow readers to “test” their mastery of the information presented in a given section.

  The NST Engineers, Inc. reviewers believe that this handbook should be provided by supervisors to their employees as an aid to answering those frequent questions such as when I do this, why does that happen? Also, why do we do it this way?


To find out more about this book, or to order it online, just enter its ISBN (same as the ASN) number:0070063699, as a keyword, in the Amazon.com search box.

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