Reboiler

CSB releases final case study into 2013 explosion and fire at Williams Olefins in Geismar, LA The Chemical Safety Board has released its final report into the June 13, 2013, explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins Plant in Geismar, Louisiana, which killed two employees. The report concludes that process safety management program deficiencies at the Williams Geismar facility during the 12 years leading to the incident allowed a type of heat exchanger called a “reboiler” to be unprotected from overpressure, and ultimately rupture, causing the explosion. The Williams Geismar facility produces ethylene and propylene for the petrochemical industry and employs approximately 110 people. At the time of the incident, approximately 800 contractors worked at the plant on an expansion project aimed at increasing the production of ethylene. The incident occurred during non-routine operational activities that introduced heat to the reboiler, which was offline and isolated from its pressure relief device....
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Shelter-in-Place

CSB deploying to site of chemical release in Atchison, KS Washington, DC, October 24, 2016 – An investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has deployed to the scene of a chemical release that led to a shelter-in-place order for thousands of residents and at least 85 members of the public seeking medical attention in Atchison, KS.   The release occurred near an onsite wastewater treatment plant owned and operated by a company that  produces distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches.  The CSB’s four person investigative team will be led by Supervisory Investigator Johnnie Banks. Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland said, “This incident underscores the very serious consequences that can occur when a chemical release goes beyond a facility’s fence line and impacts nearby residents.”  The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency’s board members are appointed by the president and...
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Corrective Action

PHMSA issues final orders with $732,100 in civil penalties to ONEOK The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today issued three Final Orders with required corrective actions and civil penalties totaling $732,100 to ONEOK NGL Pipeline, L.P., ONEOK NGL Pipeline, L.L.C., and ONEOK Underground Storage Company, L.L.C. (collectively, ONEOK). The final orders are the result of an investigation into a fire that occurred at a ONEOK facility in Bushton, KS that found 15 violations of the pipeline safety regulations in 49 C.F.R. Part 195. ONEOK operates 11,500 miles of pipeline transporting hazardous liquids in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and several other states.  
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Eaton Corporation

Volunteer fire brigade at Nebraska manufacturing plant has been at the ready since 1969 KEARNEY, Neb. — When fire breaks out in the forge shop of Kearney’s Eaton Corp. manufacturing plant, its fire brigade is quick to respond.   To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .
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West Fargo

Monsanto, Cargill donate grain bin rescue equipment to North Dakota fire department Cargill and Monsanto, teamed up to donate about $8,300 in agriculture rescue equipment to the West Fargo, ND, Fire Department.   To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .
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South Dakota

OSHA cites ethanol refinery for a May 2016 fire that killed a pipefitter Federal investigators found multiple safety violations at a South Dakota ethanol refinery expansion project after a 38-year-old pipefitter suffered fatal burn injuries when ethanol spilled from a process pipe he was working on and was ignited by flames from nearby welding operations. On Nov. 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued five serious safety violations to the worker's employer Bilfinger-Westcon, the project's construction contractor. Inspectors determined the contractor allowed welding work to occur without verifying that the area was free of flammable liquids. OSHA cited the refinery operator and owner, Sioux River Ethanol LLC which operates as Poet Biorefining-Hudson, for three serious violations of OSHA's process safety management standards including failing to ensure the process pipe being removed did not contain ethanol. "This death was needless and preventable if critical safety standards...
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Energy Center

Connecticut firefighters train at new power plant As construction continues on the 785-megawatt CPV Towantic Energy Center in Oxford, CT, the town’s firefighters recently had a training execise at the site.   To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .  
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Ulverston

Fire crew training exercise includes rescuing six people missing at a UK plant Crews attended GlaxoSmithKline's biopharmaceutical plant in Ulverston, UK, as part of an exercise in which numerous people were trapped inside the building and needed rescuing.   To read the entire article,  CLICK HERE .
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Solberg

Company achieves ULC Category 3 product certification on foam concentrates Green Bay, Wisconsin - The Solberg Company a leading innovator in firefighting foam concentrates and systems hardware, announced in November the company has achieved CAN/ULC S560; Standard for Category 3 Foam Liquid Concentrates Certification on the company’s ARCTIC™ 3% and ARCTIC 6% MIL-SPEC AFFF foam concentrates. ARCTIC™ foam concentrates from SOLBERG are PFOS-free synthetic firefighting foam concentrates used to effectively extinguish Class B fuel fires.  ARCTIC foam concentrates provide rapid extinguishment and excellent burn back resistance and can be used in fresh, salt or brackish water. In May 2012, ARCTIC AFFF and ATC™ foam product lines became C6 fluorochemical based, making Solberg the first foam manufacturer in the Americas to offer commercially available foam concentrates that were compliant to the 2010/2015 U.S. EPA PFOA Product Stewardship Program.  In addition to ULC Category 3 Certification, ARCTIC 3% and 6% MIL-SPEC AFFF concentrates...
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Training Day

Hazard identification and risk assessment   In order to establish a successful training program to respond to major incidents you must first identify the potential hazards that could face your facility. The process of identifying potential major incidents can be challenging as opposed to smaller incidents.  Many of the smaller incidents, such as minor hazardous materials spills or injuries, are responded to on a relatively regular basis by that particular facility or by industry as a whole. In the case of major incidents, be aware of the potential for a particular hazard due to the scarcity of incidents that are considered high-impact, low-probability (HILP) events.   Since this was written during the week preceding and completed on the eve of the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I will offer as background, policies that were put in place “to strengthen the preparedness of  the  United  States  to  prevent  and  respond  to ...
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Risk Assessment

Pre-plan for your extinguishing system The third quarter 2016 issue of Fire Protection Engineering magazine discusses several fire protection systems that firefighters will more commonly encounter. This article, discusses some of the basics and what to expect when responding to buildings or equipment protected by these systems.  Water Mist/Hybrid Water mist systems are nothing new. It is a well-established fact that water mist absorbs heat better than other forms of water application. However, the mist must get into the fire or throughout the entire volume of the protected space. In large spaces, like large aircraft hangars, that has been problematic. New designs intended to get the mist into the fire are always being investigated. A recent example is using pop-up nozzles in hangars to get the mist to the floor, where the fuel fire exists. This will not be the same as the current U.S. Navy design which applies AFFF through...
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Focus on Hazmat

Innovation: Necessity, ingenuity and invention From the time of the first European incursion into the New World, Americans have been an inventive and innovative people. That this should be the case is due in large part to the accident of geography. North America was (and is) a long way from Europe and travel was extremely slow in those early days. Thus the first colonists often felt, and in fact were, very isolated and thus, for the most part, dependent on their own talents and resources to meet their needs. Consequently the underlying philosophy of the settlers was “if it is to be, it is up to me.” This applied to fire protection just like everything else. The man who established the first formally organized volunteer fire department in 1736 also invented bifocals, wrote and printed Poor Richard’s “Almanack,” studied electricity and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. His name was Benjamin...
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EMS Corner

A close family member recently entered a hospital with a cardiac illness. Within a few days, he contracted an infection called Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). MRSA is caused by a strain of staph bacteria resistant to antibiotics. It starts with a skin puncture, is highly contagious, and spreads through skin contact, which I now know was from the IV given to my family member.   History of EMS Infection Control  As a young paramedic in 1977, I learned that infection control consists of: (1) mopping the ambulance floor with the same mop used on the fire station floor, (2) practicing good hand washing and then (3) large doses of disinfectant sprayed into the ambulance.  Many times I watched with ungloved hands my patient’s blood circle down the hospital sink.  The possibility of an infection was not a consideration.  In 1979 to 1981, rare types of pneumonia, cancer, and other illnesses were...
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IRECA

Recapping the 2016 IRECA conference   he 68th Annual International Rescue & Emergency Care Association Conference & Challenges was held the week of June 20, 2016 in Walnut Creek, CA. While the Basic Life Support challenge and the educational sessions were held at the conference headquarters, the Walnut Creek Marriott, the Technical Rescue Challenge event was held at the Phillips 66 Rodeo Refinery in Rodeo, CA, and the First Response Rescue Challenge event was held at the Contra Costa County Fire Training Facility in nearby Concord, CA.   New this year to IRECA were teams from Phillips 66 Ferndale (WA) Refinery and a team of Latin American fire chiefs from the Fires Foundation competing in the various challenge eventsand as a result, the conference theme was declared “Bridging the Americas” as a banner to unite both the teams who have attended the conference in past years with the new attendees to this...
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Dave's Notes

  In the last issue of Industrial Fire World we covered a hazardous materials incident that shut down Canada’s Port Metro Vancouver, North America’s third largest port facility. Heat generated by chemical decomposition destroyed more than 22 tons of a caustic bleaching agent sealed in a shipping container that was blocked at both ends. Then there are the astounding photographs from the Port of Tianjin, China (see Page 10), showing crushed shipping containers piled into five- and six-story mounds after multiple explosions in August 2015. More than 140 people died in the disaster. Many others reported missing have yet to be found. Intermodial shipping containers range from 20 feet to more than 50 feet long. However, the basic design has changed very little since the 1950s. Heavy steel corner posts allow the containers to be stacked up to six containers high. Hinges are recessed to further facilitate stacking. Otherwise, shipping containers...
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Hose Cart

New intermediary step in hose retrieval Clint Baker of Baker Fabrication brings his creative designs to aid firefighters by ensuring the ease and efficiency of hose retrieval. His innovative retrieval system that drains, loads and flattens up to 1,000 feet of large-diameter fire hose in less than 15 minutes goes by an unpretentious moniker – “Hose Mule.”   Likewise, his latest invention, a 14-foot-long, five-foot wide motorized cart that allows a firefighter to singlehandedly collect up to 600 feet of five-inch to 7¼–inch diameter hose puts all its inspiration into the design, not some snazzy title. Baker has dubbed it the “Hose Cart.” “I just try to make it simple,” Baker said. Both the Hose Mule and Hose Cart address the fire service’s most aggravating chore. Whereas large diameter hose is the most efficient way to move big water at a fire scene, nobody enjoys draining and loading as much as...
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Ward Diesel

As if being a firefighter was not risky enough, a new five-year study of 30,000 firefighters conducted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health indicates that firefighters suffer higher rates of several types of cancers, and of all cancers combined, than the U.S. population in general.   Unfortunately, that cancer risk follows firefighters back to the station with the fire truck. Several studies cited by the American Cancer Society have found that long-term, heavy exposure to diesel exhaust can cause lung cancer in lab animals. “People are realizing that, definitely, diesel emissions are a big factor when it comes to cancer in the fire service,” said Scott Beecher, president of Ward Diesel Filter Systems. The Ward Diesel No Smoke 2 is an apparatus-mounted device that extracts particulate from diesel exhaust by means of a porous ceramic filter packed in a high-temperature cushion material and encased in stainless steel. Unlike...
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Seek Thermal

Personalized thermal imaging Remember when a personal video camera was something hauled around in a small suitcase. Today, that camera is compressed into a pocket-size device that also makes phones calls, looks up news articles and uses GPS to instantly pinpoint your location on the globe. “The smaller the better” is the natural evolution of modern technology. California-based Seek Thermal is applying that philosophy to what has become an essential to firefighters everywhere – the thermal imaging camera.       “We’re bringing extraordinary innovation to the fire service that our competitors don’t have yet,” said Seek Thermal’s head of public safety Jimmy Addison. “We believe that the fire service is going to change from the big handheld thermal imaging cameras now in use to personal units.” Also important, this new generation of thermal imaging cameras will be far more cost effective, he said. “We believe as a company that this...
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First Responder Decon

Decontamination is the process of removing or neutralizing contaminants that have accumulated on at risk personnel. Unfortunately, that definition covers a multitude of variations to which emergency responders must quickly adapt. Is the contaminant chemical, biological or even radioactive? How long has personnel been in contact with it? What was the concentration? Was it a vapor, liquid or solid? Does temperature present an issue? What is the molecular size as opposed to the permeability of available protective gear?   Not every hazmat incident involves mass contamination. Solutions designed to accommodate busloads of the contaminated may not easily adapt to a situation involving only a handful of people. What is the alternative to deploying massive modular units or trailers when that happens? 4th ALARM-RESC of Englishtown, NJ, offers what it describes as “the all-in-one decontamination solution” – the First Responder Decontamination System, manufactured by ZODIAC AEROSPACE, located in Wall Township, New Jersey....
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Life Guard

NFPA 1971 setting the minimum levels of protection expected from bunker gear is due for revision in 2017. Honeywell First Responder Products is focusing on a piece of protective apparel most likely to be affected – the fire hood. “When it comes to bunker gear, you wear your boots and monitor the air you’re breathing,” said James W. Strohecker, Honeywell’s senior global marketing manager. “Why aren’t you protecting your head and neck better?  Because that’s where you’re at your highest risk.” Honeywell’s new Life Guard particulate hood features an innovative, patent-pending design and proven fabrics that provide better blocking protection against hazardous materials when compared to traditional hoods. Replacing the standard “sock hood,” the Life Guard hood delivers new laboratory-proven levels of particulate-blocking protection with a lighter, roomier fit that integrates with self-contained breathing apparatus and turnout gear to ensure the highest level of comfort and safety. Cancer is the most...
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