The Hazards of High Pressure Steam

Businesses run on steam. Electricity companies generated more than four trillion kilowatt-hours in 2020. Most of this electricity came from steam turbines operating at high pressure. 

But high pressure steam is just as much of a danger as it is a tool. Many businesses use steam without regard for safety. This can lead to devastating accidents. 

What are the major hazards of high pressure steam? What should you do to keep your employees safe? 

Answer these questions and you can increase productivity and employee satisfaction. Here is your quick guide. 


Scalds are burns that steam creates. Scalds comprise thirty-five percent of burn injuries that American burn centers treat. 

High pressure steam is invisible to the naked eye. It may produce a sound when it is squeezing through a pipe, but it does not make one on its own. 

It can induce a burn in just a few seconds. An employee can hurt their arm or hand, making them unable to work.  

Make sure your water lines are in working order. Inspect them using thermal technology and look for any place where they could scald someone. 

Slips and Falls 

High pressure steam can induce a slip or fall in a few ways. When steam sprays onto flooring, it can make the surface wet. An employee may step onto the floor and slip. 

A cloud of steam can disorient an employee. Water can land in their eyes, or a cloud can be too thick to look through. An employee can walk into an object or drop something they are carrying onto their foot. 

The incredible heat from the steam can make the flooring or railing uneven. An employee can lose their balance and fall. They could also trip over debris that the steam throws onto the floor. 

Burst Pipes 

A steam hammer occurs when cold water touches a hot steam pipe. Some of the steam condenses into water, which is hurled at high velocity through the pipe. This can cause the entire structure to burst. 

A burst pipe can propel shrapnel across a room that can injure or kill employees. The shrapnel can strike surrounding equipment, destroying it. 

Asbestos and other toxic materials can get thrown into the air. Workers may suffer from respiratory and cardiovascular problems, especially as they flee the scene. 

Even a small rupture can end your workday. Your business will lose thousands of dollars in productivity alone. You then need to make pipe repairs that cost more. 

The Hazards of High Pressure Steam 

High pressure steam is useful yet hazardous. Because steam is invisible, it can scald an employee with little warning. It can take only a few seconds to deliver a devastating burn. 

Steam can warp walkways and railings, triggering a slip. It can produce a thick cloud that blinds workers. 

Pipes can burst, akin to a bomb exploding. Shrapnel can fly across a room and strike people and equipment. Small ruptures can end a workday. 

Make equipment repairs before you need them. RAK Industrial Services maintains your pipes and appliances at affordable prices. Contact us today. 

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