Friday, January 13, 2012

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS CAUGHT ON FIRE

Description of Accident:
Storage for chemicals and flammable liquids was caught on blaze for about 15 to 20 minutes. The fire spread quickly due to the presence of flammable substances  stored inside the store. Luckily no casualties or nobody was injured as the store is situated in an isolated area with no other storage or operations nearby. The initial investigation revealed that the cause of the blaze was the overheating of a window type air conditioning unit that led to electrical short circuit.


Root Cause:
  • Inadequate monitoring of electrical equipment.
  • No protected circuit breaker.
  • Failure to use intrinsically safe electrical equipment.


Preventive Measures:
  • As far as reasonably practicable and where necessary, use intrinsically safe electrical equipment in flammable stores.
  • Training of electricians and updating of electrical equipment monthly inspections to include AC in flammable store.
  • Change design specifications for flammable stores to use AC with power supply external to the store.
  • Install circuit breakers and do inspections on all distribution boards to ensure no other deviations.

"Management failing to ensure maintenance regime is in place, incorrect or inadequate installation of unit, poor supervision for substance storage, local legislation requirements not being adhered to for storage. There is a Civil Defense requirement to the individual breakers for each AC unit. Hazardous materials need to be stored separately."




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