Learn From High-Pressure Refrigerant Accident

t2-plant-explosionLast June 20, 2009, a maintenance worker was killed when a high-pressure refrigerant line ruptured and four other employees were injured, at a poultry processing plant in Lumberton, U.S (fayobserver.com). The refrigerant was ammonia. The Department of Labor then found some safety violations that lead to the accident.

At least 20 serious safety violations were found. These findings made the states to fine the company by penalties of $73,325.

From this high pressure ammonia leakage, we could take some important lessons about safety. Here are some safety problems that were found by the Department of Labor. It is also possible that one of the safety deficiencies may become our current problem. Unfortunately, we do not aware about that.

1. Mechanics at the company were not trained about hazards related to maintenance procedures, includes the possibility of ammonia leakage.
2. Mechanics routinely ignored unsafe condition, i.e. ammonia that exceeded safe pressure and temperature.
3. Manufacturer recommendation on votators replacement was ignored.
4. The emergency response team in the company did not receive adequate training.
5. Emergency exits inside the plant were not properly signed.
6. Some of the emergency exits were partially blocked by high pressure ammonia pipes.
7. They were also not trained to use gas masks properly.

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