July 19, 2018

Controlling corrosion

Controlling corrosion: Roland Anderson, Executive VP at Cosasco, warns not to conflate cause and effect.

July 12, 2018

Lessons learnt from a refinery fire

  1. A fire started while draining naphtha from a pipeline that ran through a pump house at the refinery.
  2. Investigations revealed that there were three main lapses that led to the fire:

    (a) The refinery had allowed its contractors to drain naphtha from the pipeline by allowing the naphtha to flow out from two open valves and an open flange joint of the pipeline into trays. This open system of de-oiling allowed naphtha vapour to escape into the atmosphere resulting in an accumulation of flammable vapour, which would in turn pose a danger of ignition.

    (b) The refinery had allowed the use of a plastic tray, which was a non-conductive container, as a receptacle for collection of naphtha. The free fall of naphtha onto the plastic tray would allow accumulation of static charges as a result of the friction caused between them. When the accumulated static charges come into contact with any good conductor, they are instantaneously transferred to the conductor. A spark could be caused as a result of the sudden surge of energy during the transfer, which could be sufficient to ignite the naphtha vapour which is within flammable range in the atmosphere.

    (c) The refinery failed to deploy portable gas monitors sufficiently close to the open de-oiling area to give the warning when the build-up of the flammable vapour reached an undesirable level. 
Source: Ministry of Manpower, Singapore

July 8, 2018

First responders practice with large-scale simulation

First responders practice with large-scale simulation: FRANKLIN CO. -- First responders from across southern Illinois were running drills to prepare for emergency situations that could occur in our communities.  Dozens of fire trucks, ambulances, and ...

July 4, 2018

Work permit incidents

  1. Installation of new Sulfuric acid tank was going on. Two employees were welding on top of the tank. Suddenly the neighboring acid tank exploded. Two persons died. Root Causes were nascent hydrogen caught fire and Hot work was going one very near to acid filled tank.
  2. Two workers were doing maintenance work inside the kettle. Personnel from production started charging CO in the same kettle, assuming that it is empty & ready for charging next batch. Due to inhalation of carbon monoxide two workers died in the kettle.Root causes: Ineffectiveness of work permit system .

Courtesy: A.G.Shingore, National Safety Council

June 28, 2018

Integrity Manuals: The Most Significant Factor in Avoiding Asset Failure

Integrity Manuals: The Most Significant Factor in Avoiding Asset Failure: This special report, authored by Richard Fish, Asset Integrity Specialist, demonstrates the importance of integrity manuals when it comes to combating asset corrosion.

June 24, 2018

No excuse for cutting corners on corrosion in downstream plants

No excuse for cutting corners on corrosion in downstream plants: The risks to safety and revenue associated with corrosion in refineries and petrochemical plants are too high to ignore. Phil Yule, Cosasco, explains.

June 22, 2018

Drum explosions - beware - it happens too often

 Recently a company experienced an incident when a welder was cutting scrap beams in the scrap yard. There was an empty drum in the yard and he wanted to cut open the drum. The moment he pierced through the drum with his cutting torch, the drum exploded and injured him. Luckily it was not fatal.
I have been writing about how you should treat empty, but not decontaminated chemical/oil drums as potential bombs. Read my earlier posts here:


Read a safety alert about drums in this link