Industrial accidents by fire and explosion can cost many lives and cause millions in property damage.To prevent accidents, we study known and potential hazards, and establish guidelines for avoiding them.
A basic principle of safety can be illustrated by the accident triangle. This principle states that for each accidental death that occurs, there are X instances of human injury, Y instances of property damage, and Z instances of what we will call Near Misses (in which the hazardous situation exists but an accident does not occur).
The best way to stay out of the Near Miss zone is to analyze hazards and create guidelines for safe operation. We then educate people about those safety guidelines.
One of our customers, a manufacturer of graphite components, had a plant safety audit done (ANALYZE HAZARDS!) and it was discovered that there was nothing on their ovens to protect against explosions. Initially, the company did not think it needed added protection, as its batch ovens were designed for maximum load conditions. They used their calculations to determine the batch load depending upon product type.
However, a batch of brushes was loaded into an oven without giving them time to flash off and the plant had an explosion. After this, the company realized it needed to take steps to avoid similiar situations in the future (SAFETY GUIDELINES!).
A number of requirements led the company to the selection of a flammability analyzer:
- The oven atmosphere contained many different solvents and other materials such as resins. They required an analyzer that when calibrated would remain accurate for all constituents in the sample.
- The analyzer also had to run at a temperature high enough to keep all the oven atmosphere elements in the vapor state.
- They wanted to be able to integrate the analyzer into their existing Process Oven Control System.
Right after the installation of the analyzer, they were shocked to find that they had much higher LFL levels than their original design calculations showed. The company ordered 11 more analyzers to be put on the remaining ovens as soon as possible to protect product, ovens, personnel and PREVENT fires & explosions.