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Huntsman Explosion

Huntsman Explosion

RE: Huntsman Explosion

Are there more of these incidents in recent years, or is  just a wider level of awareness because of sites like this?

RE: Huntsman Explosion

My belief is that there are far fewer refinery fires, mine failurs, etc. per year than there were a generation ago.  Individual accidents are no longer regarded as normal.  Today we say that all accidents are preventable - and people sue when one occurs.  Neither was the case before OSHA.  For the last 15 or so years 29 CFR 1910.119 makes it illegal to have a fire, explosion or significant release of a highly hazardous chemical.  I don't think that eye protection was required by law in a machine shop or hearing protection required for a jet engine mechanic fourty years ago in 1966.  I lived in a smallish town with two smallish refineries in the sixties.  It seemed that one of the refineries would experience an explosion such as a fired heater, storage tank or process unit each year.  Things are much better now and it is mostly due to OSHA and partly due to those damned lawyers.  OK, thanks anyway.

RE: Huntsman Explosion

I agree with JL, I feel things are much safer now.

15 years ago, at the chemical company that I worked at, the Safety Group was actually a profit center. I was on the site health and safety team. We sold for profit, our knowledge and system, on safety. Every year I was there, we had a rebate from WCB too. I believe that company was first, or one of the first, to put the slogan "Safety Is Good Business" into practice and made money.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
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RE: Huntsman Explosion

When I started work at our oil refinery in 1989, I had to go to extensive fire training. In one of the classes, a student asked how often they had fires in the refinery.  The trainer said that in the summer time with lots of work going on, they would have three or four per day.  Of course this included small fires that are started by welding and put out immediately.  Now any fire has to be reported no matter how small.  We probably have 5 to 10 fires per year now and it is very, very rare for any of them to get larger than a single fire extinquisher can put out. Our full time professional fire fighters are called to attack a fire about once every two to three years.  We have certainly come a long way.

RE: Huntsman Explosion

Just my perception from reading here and elsewhere is that refiners are working at higher pressures and temps and with more hazardous chemicals trying to do things they didn't do a generation ago, which may offset some of the increased safety emphasis.

RE: Huntsman Explosion

The pressures, temperatures and materials are not significantly changed.  Perhaps the volumetric flows are larger at most plants.  The instrumentation and control systems are greatly improved along with operating practices.  Age affects a lot of the major process equipment.

RE: Huntsman Explosion

Refiners now also have 50 years more experience than in 1950. Hopefully, they are using some of that to make things faster, cheaper and SAFER.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

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