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Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities
8

Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

(OP)
As tragic as this incident was, it was a completely preventable incident. I haven't taken the time to research the GA Fire Code but I know the state adopts the ICC International Fire Code which has specific requirements for indoor use of LN2 (liquid nitrogen) based on various Compressed Gas Association standards, which are adopted by reference in the IFC.

https://www.csb.gov/csb-deploying-to-fatal-inciden...
https://www.ajc.com/news/breaking-multiple-agencie...

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

What struck me when I read some of the first reports from yesterday was how they had ordered a lock-down at a nearby school because of fear that the escaping Nitrogen could poison the school children. Considering that the school was like half a mile away and that Nitrogen already makes-up 78% of the earth's atmosphere, that this seemed a bit of an overreaction. Of course, it could have simply been an overzealous reporter with little or no idea exactly what Nitrogen is, trying to get a bigger headline since the last few items that I've read about this incident, including the ones referenced by the OP, that bit of 'news' was never mentioned.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Plants that I worked in that had bulk gasses had O2 meters around.
We had a case one time where a supply line from a bulk Ar tank failed (regulator) and filled the basement with Ar.
Our compressors were down there and they tripped off in overload trying to compress the heavier gas.
One of our engineers started into the basement to check. Fortunately he was a SCUBA diver and recognized the lack of O2 quickly and got back upstairs before he passed out.
We then add more o2 sensors with secondary displays next to the front door.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

O2 sensors also need to be installed low in the room or high in the room (or both) depending on the possible displacement gasses. O2 sensors at a convenient eye-level mounting will be nearly useless.

I’ll see your silver lining and raise you two black clouds. - Protection Operations

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

You put the sensor(s) where it needs to be, as noted based on the suspected threat, but putting the warning device, be it a flashing light or alarm, closer to eye level makes perfect sense, including placing them near any entrance to the area of concern.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Just out of curiosity, our CO sensor is mounted 'high' in the basement just to catch CO if it comes upstairs into the living space... should I be adding one low, too?

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

The question is: is CO lighter than air at the conditions in the space. If so then locate the sensor high. If not (aka Argon or gasoline fumes) the locate the sensor low. In either case, locating the alarm at eye level is best.

Nitrogen is quick and deadly. In our industry we are EXTREMELY careful when using a N2 blanket inside a vessel.

We do a lot of aluminum field welding (miles per project in confined spaces) and we constantly talk about not lying down to rest in hot weather because of the possibility that the Argon could puddle around the welder. Ventilation is used but you can't blow directly at the arc so there is a risk. Occasionally a new guy complains of headache at shift end and often it can be traced to a prone attitude.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

CO is heavy... and should be mounted low... but being the basement is the 'only' source of CO, I mounted the detector to one of the beams... I think it still protects the upstairs. N, like CO is odourless... and, I understand, it kills without warning... CO causes some side effects, I think...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Our house has no basement and it's a single story ranch, so our CO detector is down low, in the hallway between the living side and the sleeping side of the house.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

COs should be low. They tend to be plug-in to a wall outlet design as that's just about the right height.

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

It depends. Be sure to Consider the temperature of the gas you are monitoring in relation to the temperature of the space, not just its relative density to air at at 69°F. CO fire monitoring, as a product of combustion, is likely to rise. Cryogenic N2, or CO2 is likely to be cold and sink to low levels.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

CO (28 g/g-mole) is slightly lighter than air (29 g/g-mole) at the same temperature.

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Thanks... thought it was heavier... after itsmoked... not sure now. Lighter or heavier, it's location will trigger before it gets upstairs... plugging in could be a convienience?

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

If you survive, you will never forget the headache. CO2 as well.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Thanks for the 'heads up'.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Kinda bugs me the article tweets saying "chemical explosions"... :-|

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

I guess too many people assume that any disaster where the word Nitrogen is used is automatically a "chemical explosion" because of incidents like the Oklahoma City bombing, where the bomb was made from Nitrogen fertilizer and diesel fuel or the disaster in West, TX where an explosion at a Nitrogen fertilizer plant nearly destroyed an entire town.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Yes, nitrogen is odorless too.

Quote (CNN)

Maria del Rosario Palacios leads Georgia Familias Unidas, a Latino advocacy group in Gainesville. She said a number of workers told her they developed headaches, apparently from a lack of oxygen. She said workers told her there was a loud noise, and then some workers were rushed into a room at the plant before going outside, with a strong odor indicating the presence of nitrogen.

In an emergency you cannot depend 100% on witnesses; they are busy saving their lives. The nitrogen jet may have stirred up something else.


Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Most news articles say there was an explosion like sound. Could be pipe or equipment failure. It may also have been Rapid Phase Transition (RPT), like running liquid nitrogen into liquid water that had not been drained thoroughly. Now, that would have been a "chemical explosion". Let's see what the CSB finds.

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

This may the first mention of the cause.

Quote (Yahoo)

Of the six people killed Thursday by the ruptured liquid nitrogen line at Gainesville’s Foundation Food Group plant, five were Latino; 11 more people were injured. A 3-year-old child lost both parents in the accident, according to Arturo Corso, a local lawyer who has worked with families from the plant.

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Nitrogen is extremely stable... that's why when it makes compounds, they tend to be unstable.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

An explosion like Sound could be a pipe rupture caused by over pressure caused by a closed in volume?

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Quote (MortenA)


...over pressure caused by a closed in volume

Which is the classic definition of any explosive event.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

As far as I know;
As the air in the lungs is absorbed, the CO2 concentration in the lungs rises, first triggering another breath, and then, if a breath is not taken, the gasp reflex.
Increasing nitrogen levels do not trigger the gasp reflex.
You just quietly pass out and die.

Bill
--------------------
Ohm's law
Not just a good idea;
It's the LAW!

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Yes, since the atmosphere is already 78% Nitrogen, the body has probably long evolved to the point where more Nitrogen is not going to trigger any sort of noticeable reaction, just eventual unconsciousness, as Bill said.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Quote (waross)

As far as I know

Absolutely. It's just the same as passing out in a low PPO2 atmosphere caused by rusting metal sucking the oxygen out of the space, leaking refrigerant displacing all the air or lack of overall atmospheric pressure. I gave passing out under one of those circumstances a bit of a go about 35 years ago, and it's disturbingly difficult to recognise that anything at all is wrong - I totally missed it even having been told what to expect.

A.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

That's why the chemical names for nitrogen-containing molecules tends to have "azote"-derived words in them. Lavoisier suggested "azote" for Nitrogen from the Greek ἀζωτικός "no life", since it silently asphyxiates living things. And words derived from that are used in quite a few non-English languages. This US CSB video is a good intro to the dangers of nitrogen asphyxiation.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Any closed in piece of pipe containing liquid nitrogen will be capable of building pressure significantly higher than the triple point (345 bar - 5000 psi). The applicable piping codes require every piece of pipe able to be closed in to have it's own "hydro-static" relief valve. Even smaller components like gate valves need to be designed so that any trapped liquid can vent (usually by connecting the gate slot to one side of the valve).

Failing to take this requirement of cryogenic piping system design into account is a sure way to burst a pipe the first time it is closed in. This is only one of the possible scenarios.

Should Food Plants (or perhaps everyone) using large quantities of Cryogenic Liquids indoors be subject to HAZOP rules?

Fred

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Quote (FacEngrPE)

Should Food Plants (or perhaps everyone) using large quantities of Cryogenic Liquids indoors be subject to HAZOP rules?

In Sweden it is reguated in The Swedish Work Environment Authority's regulations on the use and control of pressurized devices.
I do not know which EU directive it is based on.

Inside EU all machinery built is subject to "HAZOP" rules.
It is a part of the Machinery Directive to make a hazard study.
The biggest problem here is that they do not need to deliver there hazards study with the machine.
The only way of getting it is to demand that, it is include in the purchase.
If you do have it, and a serious accident happens, you need to go to the EU court and claim that they did not meet the requirements of the MD and the manufacturer need to provide the hazard analysis to prove he account for all risk.
Otherwise he will be liable for damages and revocation or rebuilding of the equipment.
All new build equipment put together with different appliances from different suppliers must undergo the same risk/hazard analysis.

I am not shore how big a difference it is from your standards.

But a risk/hazard analysis never become better then the people that makes it, if the group is to uniform that is not god thing.

Best Regards A

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

(OP)
Update from the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
https://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta-news/federal-inve...

Three daily tractor trailer deliveries of LN2 is a very demanding system. The building housed flash freezing units for chickens. The N2 system had been constructed and commissioned in the past 4-6 weeks. The plant engineer saved lives by shutting down the system at the source.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

With a system this new, I'm thinking of one of two possibilities. Either there was a problem with the installation and it took this long before whatever finally let loose. The other scenario is that perhaps the people charged with operating and/or maintaining the system had not been adequately trained or their unfamiliarity with the system led to someone making a serious mistake or miscalculation. We can hope that the investigators will uncover what really happened, and if it's something that could have been prevented, that action is taken at this and similar facilities so as to avoid it happening again.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Quote (As the air in the lungs is absorbed, the CO2 concentration in the lungs rises)


CO2 is actually a respiratory stimulant whereas CO fixes to the hemoglobin...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

(OP)
The Times newspaper in Gainesville, GA has reported that the CSB found tools in the area where one of the new flash freezing units. Again, avoiding speculation, this finding raises more concerns about the employees understanding of LN2.

https://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/public-safet...

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

And Lock Out / Tag Out, Safe Work Permits, etc., etc., etc.

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Yes, I can remember when I was out on a job site, each one of the electricians/mechanics had their own personal padlock that they would put on the lock-out/breaker handle on the control panel while they were working on a piece of equipment.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Quote:

Quote (As the air in the lungs is absorbed, the CO2 concentration in the lungs rises)

CO2 is actually a respiratory stimulant whereas CO fixes to the hemoglobin...

Yes to both. When I had a COVID scare in may I was checking my 02 saturation often and noticed that my sedentary 02 saturation was as low as 96-97% but as soon as I moved around and produced some C02 that stimulated respiration and my 02 sat went right up to %99. It was neat to see what I had learned about in action.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Quote (dik)

Thanks... thought it was heavier... after itsmoked... not sure now. Lighter or heavier, it's location will trigger before it gets upstairs... plugging in could be a convienience?

Careful there.. if you have any HVAC equipment in your basement, you face the real possibility of CO being distributed around the upper floors for a looooooong time before it's detected at the ceiling level in the basement.

If you trust that the suction side of your HVAC system is sealed up perfectly, then no problem... but I wouldn't.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

"Locking down" the (relatively far away) school in fear of the Nitrogen leak is foolish: Getting the kids outside into fresh air IS the solution for nitrogen gas leaks. But that would require an emergency plan that the school administrators can understand and implement, and elementary school staff, principals, teachers, and their district level administrators have NO chemical nor safety training outside of "Hide in Place, Lock the Doors, and Call for Help."

Which, if the school were in danger of non-toxic gases, would kill the children locked in their classrooms.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

I'd always instructed our grandkids that if there was a lockdown at school (Code Red, here), they were to leave the facility immediately and come home... didn't care what the schools plans were; I advised the principal of this... More hazard on site...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Quote (JohnRBaker (Mechanical) 1 Feb 21 17:17)


JohnRBaker (Mechanical)... each one of the electricians/mechanics had their own personal padlock that they would put on the lock-out/breaker handle on the control panel while they were working on a piece of equipment.

Of the hundreds of plants I worked, only ONE had such a policy. weirdest thing I ever encountered. all others, Lockout was controlled by worker's signiture (latter digital ID) and strickly administered by plant Operations with Managment oversite the one near-miss i remember was at the plant that allowed workers to place their own locks AND the most chaoctic return to service ever.
thus while it was assumed to be the safetest practice, but allowing multiple people to work indepentaly of each other was not safe

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Lockouts often have provision for several 'locks'... and I've seen people use their own... just for safety.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Quote (JohnRBaker)

each one of the electricians/mechanics had their own personal padlock that they would put on the lock-out/breaker handle on the control panel while they were working on a piece of equipment
.

Seems like everyday work to me smile
You would not be let in at the factory if you did not agree to follow that rule.
All production people have padlocks also, to lock the saftety equipment gates, doors, light guards etc.

Me myself I got at least five padlocks , sometimes one isn't enough depending on the job.
But we usually have someone checking and keeping track of all the people and jobs when there is a lot going on at the same time.

Best Regards A

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Yes, but the guys had to put their initials on the locks so that if someone really needed to either get inside a panel or to turn it ON, they would know who to track down to get them to remove their lock.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Off course name and telephone number, always smile

Best Regards A

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Back then, no one had cell phones winky smile

But inside our own shop, we had an 'AutoCall' system. Now usually only supervisors and foremen were assigned an 'AutoCall' number. I never needed one as I spent most of my time, when not at my board, out in our lab, where you could actually hear people talk and where we had a phone and our secretary knew that this was one of the places to call when they were looking for me. But out on the shop floor, there were very few phones and the noise levels were always high, thus the 'AutoCall'. Now for people not familiar with this, it was a system where individuals in the shop, like I said, usually supervisors and foremen, were assigned a 'call' signal which would flash a set of lights set-up around the plant in different buildings. You'd have a code like 'four flashes' or 'two flashes - a pause - two more flashes', etc. These were very bright lights and you couldn't miss them unless you actually had your eyes closed. Anyway, the way it worked is if you needed to talk to someone in the shop, when you dialed their number it would trigger the 'AutoCall' and flash their signal, and when they saw their signal, they would find a phone and enter a unique code, and they would then be connected to whoever was trying to reach them. Now if an AutoCall was already active, you'd get a busy signal. Hey, it worked for us (note that this was back in the 60's and 70's).

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

lol We hade that at the factory when I started to , I think the lamp is still up on the wall outside the workshop.
Can't recall seeing flashing though, it was round with four red lights and one in the middle smile
Then we got pagers and then some kind of internal com radio and then finally internal telephones .. and now we get everything smile

BR A

“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.“
Albert Einstein

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

This study found CO diffused sufficiently fast such that it is OK to mount the CO detector at any height.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Statement from CSB Chairman 2/1/2021
On Ongoing Investigation into the Fatal Incident at Foundation Foods Facility in Gainesville, GA
https://www.csb.gov/statement-from-csb-chairman/

Among the facts now being stated "As mentioned on Saturday, some tools were located in the vicinity of the Line 4 immersion freezer. We have since learned that unplanned maintenance was being conducted on Line 4."

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

As I said on Saturday:

"With a system this new, I'm thinking of one of two possibilities. Either there was a problem with the installation and it took this long before whatever finally let loose. The other scenario is that perhaps the people charged with operating and/or maintaining the system had not been adequately trained or their unfamiliarity with the system led to someone making a serious mistake or miscalculation."

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

This is speculation on my part, but the equipment may have looked like:

Messer LN Spiral Freezer

Cutaway

Good Luck,
Latexman

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Gee, that looks like the stuff I used to design, but ours went the other way, ovens for baking bread and rolls, and in our case, we actually WERE dealing with gas that would explode, although in bakeries, the biggest danger was dust explosions, as when handling flour or starch, as it was usually pumped pneumatically.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Did that as a kid... dried cornstarch and put a little of it in a drinking straw, and blew the dust into a flame and it would flame/flash quite spectacularly.

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

WOW hard to get my head around that thing weighing 20 tons. Sheesh!

Keith Cress
kcress - http://www.flaminsystems.com

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

https://www.messer-us.com/food-freezing#poultry
a brochure on this page describes a line of "Messer Nitrogen Immersion-Spiral Freezer"
"The spiral stage range from compact to high-production 20’ x 20’ models."

Messer: Safety Guidelines for Working With Nitrogen https://youtu.be/t9t6AZ8teAo?list=PL3zZofMok2ApUXh...
This is a reasonably good video on the safety aspects of nitrogen. A huge disclaimer at the start of the video, that should key customers to the need to pay attention.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Great video..

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

In a fairy-tale world, no one would ever do "unplanned maintenance" unsafely, much less break open a pressurized pipe and release a deadly gas towards his co-workers.
In the real world, the guilty worker probably was the only one to leave the room fast enough to escape alive.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Could it be less costly to use untrained 'flunkies'?

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

2
I see a lot of speculation being tossed around by many on this forum that I previously considered to be careful analytical engineers. The statements about the tools in the vicinity of the equipment and intimating work being done by "untrained flunkies" and the possible abandoment of the work site by the worker causing the mishap are totally out of line speculation. We don't know enough info yet. The tools could have been the tools used by a trained maintenance worker - the "unplanned maintenance" could have been approved to proceed - unplanned does not necessarily mean unauthorized- possibly, the unplanned work was to address a system leak or failure that went critical as a crew was assessing the situation. We don't know if anyone abandoned anything. Possibly, those that died were heroically attempting shut down the situation to protect the facility and other workers. There is too much that is unknown for any armchair assessments to be made. The CBS investigation has not released anything more than a barebones situation description.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

stand corrected... thanks

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Quite frankly we were all untrained flunkies once. Some of us were able to learn under experts who were able to teach us what they learned from their mistakes. Hopefully we do not repeat them, there are plenty of new ones to learn from.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

I just thought it odd that there wasn't anyone in the bunch that was aware of the hazard... it was only when I took a course in confined space that I found out that you don't go back to get someone out... my first reaction...

Rather than think climate change and the corona virus as science, think of it as the wrath of God. Feel any better?

-Dik

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

2
While I don't run off fully into the 'untrained flunky' field, in the years I worked and supervised high voltage field service technicians I cautioned them about going into what I called 'soft industry' facilities - grain handling, small timber mills, gravel quarries, where the 'expertise' might be sparse, telling them to use extra caution and accept nothing without first examining and testing for themselves. Compared to a large refinery or petrochem plant with 1500 employees and its own engineering and technical staff, a podunk sawmill was not likely to have a very good handle on their hazards.

that said, 'lockout-tagout' is religion in most facilities today. One might well question the amount of effort that went into preparing the equipment for work to be performed. Cutting corners or 'we don't need to lock it out. This will only take a minute' is a good way to be a safety statistic.

Another good way is to blindly follow procedures written with a 'one size fits all' mentality, not understanding that each case needs to be evaluated separately as to hazards. By nature, repair work means working on things that are not working as they should. The careful consideration of the equipment, the problems, and the procedures needs to be done.

old field guy

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Accident Description
Accident: Foundation Food Group Fatal Chemical Release
Location: Location: Gainesville , GA
Accident Occurred On: 01/28/2021
Accident Type: Release
Investigation Status: The CSB's investigation is currently underway.
https://www.csb.gov/foundation-food-group-fatal-ch...

This is the investigation home page. The CSB will be linking information to this page as they are ready to publish.

RE: Gainsville, GA cryogenic N2 release results in multiple fatalities

Third CSB Update on Poultry Plant Incident February 7, 2021 https://www.csb.gov/third-csb-update-on-poultry-pl...

Not that much new information
The CSB is releasing the following new facts on the incident:

The LN units were manufactured and installed by Messer and are leased to the Foundation Food Group.
The Foundation Food Group performs routine maintenance on the Messer-owned equipment.
The plant had been experiencing unresolved operational issues on the chicken conveyor that appear to have resulted in the accidental release of liquid nitrogen in the flash freezing bath.
The CSB has information that Line No. 4 was shut down the morning of the incident. The shutdown was due to operational issues on the conveyor line.
Foundation Food Group maintenance personnel reported the computerized measuring system indicated a low liquid level in the immersion bath used to flash freeze the chicken products.

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