March 28, 2015

Access and Accidents

The German wings plane that crashed in the Alps on Tuesday killing all onboard is being attributed to the co pilot intentionally crashing the plane, when the pilot went out of the cockpit. The pilot was not able to regain access to the cockpit as the copilot is alleged to have locked the door from inside. There is an interesting video from popular science about how the cockpit door locking arrangement works.

Coming back to our industry, more and more electronic access systems are being installed in chemical plant control rooms and hazardous chemical storages to prevent unauthorized access. But have you thought about everything including emergency response or evacuation requirements in case of malfunction of these access control systems?

See the video about how the cockpit door locking arrangement works in this link.

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March 27, 2015

Trinidad and Tobago incidents

Fire incidents in oil and gas sector


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March 22, 2015

Could a Texas City blast happen again? Read the investigation at HoustonChronicle.com

Ten years after a Texas City refinery blast killed 15 and rattled a community, workers keep dying. The Houston Chronicle and The Texas Tribune investigate.
 http://www.houstonchronicle.com/texascity



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March 21, 2015

Major mishap averted - The Hindu

Major mishap averted - The Hindu



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March 13, 2015

Golden Rules of Total

 Total, the oil and gas multinational has Golden rules for safety in its website which can be accessed in this link

 
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March 10, 2015

Confined space fatality in chemical tanker - lessons to learn

A confined space fatality incident in a chemical tanker highlights the dangers when we take safety precautions and permits lightly. This can happen to even the most experienced persons. Discuss this incident with your personnel and the lessons learnt. The incident case study is in this link.

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March 7, 2015

March 4, 2015

Chemical Safety Board Under Fire

Chemical Safety Board Under Fire



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Thermal expansion accident

Thermal expansion inside a valve caused the bonnet of the valve to fail. The safety alert mentions the following:

Pressure build-up occurs in the gate valve cavity from thermal expansion of fluids. Extreme pressure build-up from fluid expansion can occur if the valve body is completely full of fluids (e.g., a grease/oil/water mixture) and heated to elevated temperatures. Such pressure can exceed the rated working pressure of the valve.

A valve with the ability to isolate the body cavity from the flow line may be at risk.
Presence of grease or compounds designed to enhance sealing ability may exacerbate the condition.
Grease or a grease/oil/water mixture when heated in a sealed enclosure can exceed 7000 psi (48.5 MPa) at 250 °F (121 °C).
Gate valve body cavities that are not 100% full of fluids do not experience excessive pressure as the vessel was heated. Trapped air or gas allows room for thermal expansion.

Read the safety alert in this link. 

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March 1, 2015