Learn from Veolia Explosion Investigation Report

On last 21 July 2010, The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released explosion investigation results at Veolia ES Technical Solution Plant. The gas explosions caused two people injured and the plant was temporarily shut down. It also damaged twenty houses and five businesses near the plant.

gas explosions

The gas explosion which happened on May 4, 2009, was triggered by flammable vapor that was released from a waste recycling plant. Flammable vapor was then ignited and exploded.

Then, could we learn something from the explosion investigation results? Yes, we could. We should take many safety lessons from this gas explosion as input for improving plant safety.

And here are two important points that are taken from Veolia explosion report.

  • Employees worked to close to the waste recycling plant which released flammable vapor. It was also mentioned in the report that a north wall in the lab and operations building was less than 30 feet from the waste recycling processing area. The two injured persons were inside those buildings.
  • The US Chemical Safety Board recommended that it is required to separate operating areas with occupied buildings from process areas that will potentially explode due to containing flammable gases or liquids.

We can conclude from the explosion investigation results that the gas explosion could be prevented if the company separated completely flammable vapors source (waste recycling plant) from any possible ignition sources. Meanwhile, a safe distance between operating areas, which have explosion hazards, and operating building would greatly reduce injury and damage.

Today, we have learned safety from Veolia explosion investigation released by the US CSB. I will always remind you that by just reading such story will not change anything, except you do something to improve your plant safety.

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