On April 17, 2013, a 60-ton stockpile of fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) exploded at the West Fertilizer Company (WFC) in the middle of downtown West, Texas. The fire and explosion killed 15 people—12 twelve emergency responders and 3 members of the community—caused injuries to 260 more people who required medical treatment, and damaged more than […]
Category: Fire Safety
When a 900-gallon melt tank containing hexane and ethanol overpressurized and exploded in December 2015 at a food additive manufacturing facility in Newark, Ohio, owned by Arboris®, LLC, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) faulted the employer’s process safety management (PSM) for failing to prevent the explosion. But even when the fireball erupted, […]
At the Arboris® plant in Newark, Ohio, workers were adding hexane to a process that produced sterols—a natural compound produced by pine trees—for use in foods such as spreads, bread, milk, and yogurt. Unfortunately, the employer’s process safety management (PSM) program failed at many points to identify and correct potentially disastrous issues with the process. […]
Is an ounce of prevention really more effective than a pound of cure? According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), that’s certainly the case for Arboris®, LLC, a food additive manufacturing facility in Newark, Ohio. A 900-gallon melt tank at the facility containing hexane and ethanol overpressurized and exploded in December 2015. […]
What happens if there’s a chemical leak or spill in your workplace? Are your workers ready to contain it? Workers at Nestlé’s Willy Wonka candy manufacturing plant in Itasca, Illinois were quick to react to a lithium chloride spill, containing the 5-gallon mishap. Unfortunately, containing the spilled liquid didn’t eliminate the hazard to workers—just a […]
What’s your worst-case scenario? Fire? Explosion? Flood? If you’re just thinking of the disaster itself, you’re not thinking broadly enough: the true worst-case scenario is a disaster for which your facility and your workers are completely unprepared.
When there’s an emergency in the workplace, workers need to get out quickly. Unfortunately, some types of emergencies may involve power failures and a loss of interior and exterior illumination; or, the building may fill with smoke, obscuring ordinary illumination. In either case, emergency lighting is critical to your workers.
Unless they’re working in complete darkness, workers may not pay too much attention to lighting in the workplace. But poor lighting can contribute to accidents whether workers notice it or not. Here’s some advice on lighting the workplace for safety. The good news is that poor lighting is usually an easy fix that enhances safety […]
When the temperature drops below freezing, your pipes are at risk. Most people, including most business owners, are aware of this risk with respect to ordinary plumbing found in bathrooms and kitchens. But, have you considered whether your workplace sprinkler system is at risk? Frozen sprinkler system piping that bursts can cause serious water damage […]
At a strip mall in Indianapolis in a storefront that was being repurposed as a tattoo parlor, the new occupants wanted to open up the space. To do so, they tore out the walls around the sprinkler control room and finished by drywalling over the sprinkler riser and control valve. The only access they left […]