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02/02/2016

CSB Video of Fertiliser Explosion in West, Texas

U.S. Chemical Safety Board Releases New Safety Video, "Dangerously Close: Explosion in West, Texas,” Detailing Report Findings and Recommendations on 2013 Fatal West Fertilizer Company Explosion and Fire.

January 29, 2016, Washington, DC – Today the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a safety video into the fatal April 17, 2013, fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, which resulted in 15 fatalities, more than 260 injuries, and widespread community damage. The deadly fire and explosion occurred when about thirty tons of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) exploded after being heated by a fire at the storage and distribution facility.

The CSB’s newly released 12-minute safety video entitled, “Dangerously Close: Explosion in West, Texas,” includes a 3D animation of the fire and explosion as well as interviews with CSB investigators and Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland. The video can be viewed on the CSB’s website and YouTube.

http://www.csb.gov/videos/dangerously-close-explosion-in-west-texas/

14/12/2015

Buncefield - 10 Years On

In the early hours of Sunday 11th December 2005, a number of explosions occurred at Buncefield Oil Storage Depot, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. At least one of the initial explosions was of massive proportions and there was a large fire, which engulfed a high proportion of the site. Over 40 people were injured; fortunately there were no fatalities.

Ten years on from the Buncefield major incident, the COMAH Strategic Forum has produced a short report summarising the improvements which have been made and the work which is ongoing in large bulk petroleum storage sector and other major hazard industries to help ensure that an accident on the scale of the Buncefield explosion should not happen again.

The report can be found on the HSE's website: http://www.hse.gov.uk/comah/buncefield/response.htm

19/10/2015

HSG 176 - Second Edition, 2015 out now!

The HSE has recently issued a revised version of HSG 176 'The storage of flammable liquids in tanks' (Second edition, 2015)

This guidance applies to above and below ground fixed bulk storage tanks. It applies to premises where flammable liquids are stored in individual tanks or groups of tanks. It may also be applied to portable or skid-mounted vessels with capacities in excess of 1000 litres.

It also gives guidance on the design, construction, operation and maintenance of installation used for the storage of flammable liquids in fixed and transportable tanks operating at or near atmospheric pressure.

It will help you assess the risks arising from the use of flammable liquids and decide how to control those risks.

The guidance has been updated to align with the recommendations of the Buncefield report.

 

HSG 176 is available to download, free of charge from the HSE's website.

21/10/2015

New CSB Video - Gasoline Tank Overfill

CSB Safety Video on the 2009 massive explosion at the Caribbean Petroleum, or CAPECO, terminal facility near San Juan, Puerto Rico. The incident occurred when gasoline overflowed and sprayed out from a large aboveground storage tank, forming a 107-acre vapour cloud that ignited. While there were no fatalities, the explosion damaged approximately 300 nearby homes and businesses and petroleum leaked into the surrounding soil, waterways and wetlands. Flames from the explosion could be seen from as far as eight miles away.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41QMaJqxqIo

19/10/2015

HSG 51 - Third Edition, 2015 out now!

The HSE has recently issued a revised version of HSG 51 'The storage of flammable liquids in containers' (Third edition, 2015)

This guidance is for those responsible for the safe storage of flammable liquids in containers at the workplace. It applies to storage of flammable liquids in containers up to 1000 litres capacity.

It explains the fire and explosion hazards associated with flammable liquids and will help you determine how to control the risks in your workplace.

In recognition of the diversity of premises in which flammable liquids are stored and/or used, the guidance now contains discrete topic areas which outline the potential risks and recommended control measures for a number of different types of business.

HSG 51 is available to download, free of charge from the HSE's website.

19/10/2015

HSG 140 - Second Edition, 2015 out now!

The HSE has recently issued a revised version of HSG 140 'Safe use and handling of flammable liquids' (Second edition, 2015)

This guidance is for those responsible for the safe use and handling of flammable liquids in all general work activities, small-scale chemical processing and spraying processes.

It explains the fire and explosion hazards associated with flammable liquids and will help you determine how to control the risks in your workplace.

The revised document incorporates information and cites relevant standards in relation to the following publications which have been withdrawn:

  • HSG113 - Lift trucks in potentially flammable atmospheres;
  • HSG158 - Flame arresters: Preventing the spread of fires and explosions in equipment that contains flammable gases and vapours;
  • HSG178 - The spraying of flammable liquids.

HSG 140 is available to download, free of charge from the HSE's website.

1 October 2015

COMAH 2015 Compliance

All Upper Tier sites need to demonstrate compliance with COMAH 2015 by 31 May 2016, which means that the majority of sites have to submit an addendum to their COMAH Safety Report or even completely revise it.

The deadline may seem a long way off for a change that can be seen as minor, but an early start is always beneficial as a COMAH review inevitably grows beyond its original scope.  The required changes under COMAH 2015 are subtle but may initiate other changes – e.g. can you explicitly demonstrate that you have considered lessons learned from accidents with similar substances and/or similar plant?

Here at C3 we are already working with our clients to determine the extent of the changes that apply to them.  Like many other people we thought that the alignment with CLP would result in only administrative changes to Safety Reports, but we have seen a surprising number of reclassifications that have resulted in new major accident hazards.

There are also changes that could affect the contents of your MAPP and associated section of your COMAH Safety Report, on subjects such as continuous improvement, subcontractors, ageing plant and audit and review.

You may also take the opportunity to carry out an interim review of your Safety Report in order to reduce the workload at the next 5-year Review stage, or just review your risk assessment to take credit for recent risk reduction initiatives.

Clear, Concise Compliance:  Whatever your scope, C3 personnel have been helping sites with COMAH compliance for 15 years offering advice that is proportionate to your hazards, size and budget.  Call us now for a no-obligation visit to discuss your situation and how we can help.

Many COMAH sites also have an action on their Intervention Plans that refers to the CDOIF (Chemical and Downstream Oil Industries Forum) guidance ‘Environmental Risk Tolerability for COMAH Establishments’.  The COMAH Competent Authority now considers this to be a benchmark standard and expects that COMAH sites consider the CDOIF guidance when carrying out or reviewing their environmental risk assessments.  This could be neatly tied into your COMAH 2015 review, especially if you exceed the Upper Tier thresholds for environmental hazards.

Although the CDOIF guidance may seem lengthy and onerous, it can be distilled into a series of tables and could provide financial benefits to many sites due to the more realistic tolerability boundaries that reflect a lower environmental risk.   A more accurate and proportionate environmental risk assessment will result in better informed ALARP decisions; targeting financial resources more effectively and avoiding unnecessary spend.

We have already completed many CDOIF assessments that have been well received by the EA / SEPA.

30/09/2015

New CSB Video - DuPont La Porte Chemical Release

CSB animation of the accident at DuPont’s La Porte facility, located east of Houston, which killed four workers and injured a fifth when methyl mercaptan, a toxic chemical used in the company’s insecticide and fungicide manufacturing process, was released.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbFzuS8Bdhw