Archive for the ‘ chemical plant accident ’ Category

Accident at Work: the Bayer CropScience Explosion August 2008

Yesterday, the US Chemical Safety Board released accident at work report on Bayer CropScience Explosion in August 2008, which caused two people died and injured eight others. According to CBS report, the main cause of the explosion was the intentional overriding of an interlock system that was designed to prevent adding methomyl process residue into the residue treater vessel before filling the vessel with clean solvent and heating it to minimum safe operating temperature.

The explosion occurred during start up process of the methomyl unit. CSB found that the start up was performed before valve lineups, equipment checking, safety review of pre-start up and computer calibration was complete. (more…)

What to do when Chemical Plant Accidents Happen

One of the causes of chemical plant accidents is the failure of management to educate its workers on how to protect themselves from hazardous substances that are present in the workplace. Accident prevention measures must be in place to avoid occurrence of industrial accidents.

Manufacturing plants that produce cobalt metal and cobalt powder are required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to provide their workers with good quality of personal protective garments and gears to protect them from contacting cobalt metal dust and fume while working. Workers should be informed about the relevance of wearing the protective clothes and equipments by emphasizing that their health and safety are dependent on how they protect their bodies when at work. The management of manufacturing plants should impose sanctions whenever an employee fail or refuse to wear the required clothes and equipments. If management will not impose strictly this particular requirement there will be workers who will attempt to disobey thereby making them prone to chemical plant accidents.

Workers in cobalt producing plants must observe proper hygiene at all times to avoid chemical plant accidents. They are required to wash their faces, hands and arms with soap and water before eating or smoking, before using lavatories or before taking medicine. Workers are not allowed to eat, drink, smoke, take medicine in a place where processing of cobalt metals take place.

A person who accidentally inhales cobalt dusts can become sick because when the dusts enter his lung, they can block the air from entering the lung so the affected person can feel shortness of breath. Cobalt dusts cause coughing and excessive production of mucus or phlegm. Results of chemical accident investigations revealed that continuous exposure to cobalt dusts can prevent a person’s lung to function normally which can lead to interstitial lung disease. More serious effects brought by cobalt dust inhalation are heart attack and thyroid disorders. Also when a person’s skin has a contact with cobalt substance, he is likely to suffer dermatitis. Irritation can be present in areas where parts of the skin rub each other. Further, an accidental intake of cobalt substance can poison a person that can lead to polycythemia and hyperplasia, in which both conditions can primarily affect a person’s bone marrow.

If a manufacturing plant stores other substances particularly strong oxidizing agents, they should be stored separately from cobalt substances to avoid serious or fatal chemical plant accidents. A spontaneous fire may occur when cobalt substance fuses with bromide pentaflouride. If worse comes to worst, explosion may take place. Fire and explosion will not only destroy lives and properties but also the environment. News about latest accidents involving fire pinpointed cobalt powder and fumes to have contributed to large fires that occurred in the USA.

To protect their workers, chemical plants should always follow the recommendations of a government regulatory body like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and adhere to the saying that “an ounce of prevention is equal to a pound of cure”.


Chemical Storage Tanks – Safety Tips

chemical-storage-tankThe explosion on chemical storage tank at Packaging Corporation of America, Tomahawk, Wisconsin, on July 29, 2008, which killed three people, has shown how chemical storage tanks could put hazard into reality.

The above accident did not represent the entire potential hazards associated with the presence of chemical storage tanks in a chemical plant. In addition, the condition become worst when chemical stored in the chemical tanks are flammable, combustible, corrosive or even toxic.

Because chemical storage tanks present in all chemical plants, improvement of their safety is very important. That’s why this article is written. (more…)

Important Notes Taken From DuPont Gas Leak

methyl chloride leakDuPont recently reported the causes of methyl chloride leak from the phosgene unit in last January at its West Virginia chemical plant, which caused one worker died. Phosgene is a hazardous chemical used for manufacturing of pesticide and plastic that can damage the respiratory system.

According to DuPont report that was published in, the causes of the gas leak were aging hoses, corrosion and pressure build up in the line. Combination of these factors had caused hoses failed to function properly. (more…)

A Sure Way To Safety On Hot Work: Flammable Gas Test

Three weeks ago, I read news about US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) guidelines on the prevention of explosion. These guidelines are aim to prevent explosion related to any hot work, which has caused many workers in the US died.

CSB developed these hot work guidelines after investigating 60 deaths in industrial explosion in the past 20 years in the US.

Let’s take a look at the explosion at a Packaging Corporation of America Plant in Tomahawk in 2008, (more…)

Taking Notes From Middletown Power Plant Explosion

Middletown power plant exploded on last 7 February, when natural gas vent operation was being done. The accident caused at least 6 people died and several others injured. Several similar accidents had also occurred in the past.

In the Middletown power plant explosion, there were some important notes that we could take whenever we do similar operation. Chemical Safety Board said Middletown explosion was due to lack of safety measures. (more…)

Chemical Plant Accident Statistic in December 2009

In December 2009, I noted a chemical plant accident in China, which caused 3 people died. The accident occurred when workers were handling carbon black.

Another accident that grabbed my attention was toxic gas leak (hydrogen sulfide, H2S) that caused 1 engineer died at Thai Rayon Public Co. Limited, Thailand.

To read more accidents that happened in December 2009, please click the following links. (more…)

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