A revised industry standard has been released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) to improve refinery safety.

The national trade association for the oil and natural gas industry said on Tuesday that it had issued an updated design and installation standard on pressure-relieving devices as part of its commitment to improving workplace safety and protecting the environment.

The sixth edition of API Standard 520, Sizing, Selection and Installation of Pressure-relieving Devices in Refineries, Part II on Installation, covers methods of installation for devices that are used to provide protection against excessive pressure accumulation.

This update will enhance refining safety by helping companies design and install state-of-the-art pressure relieving devices at oil and petrochemical refineries, according to David Miller, director of standards for API.

"The standard offers engineering guidance for the design and installation of these critical safety devices which protect workers and the environment in the event of overpressure in process units and systems," Miller added.

Two other standards on pressure-relieving devices were revised by API in 2014:The ninth edition of API Standard 520, Sizing, Selection and Installation of Pressure-relieving Devices, Part I – Sizing and Selection. This standard applies to the sizing and selection of pressure-relief devices used in refineries, chemical facilities and related industries and includes basic definitions and information about the operational characteristics and applications of various pressure-relief devices.The sixth edition of API Standard 521, Pressure-relieving and Depressuring Systems. This standard applies to pressure-relieving and vapor depressuring systems. According to API, although primarily intended for use in oil refineries, it is also relevant for petrochemical facilities, gas plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and oil and gas production facilities.