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Ian Gibson, EHS Programme Manager, MPA Cement FIRE COMMON CAUSES, PREVENTION AND MITIGATION.

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Presentation on theme: "Ian Gibson, EHS Programme Manager, MPA Cement FIRE COMMON CAUSES, PREVENTION AND MITIGATION."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ian Gibson, EHS Programme Manager, MPA Cement FIRE COMMON CAUSES, PREVENTION AND MITIGATION

2 FIRE How it Starts ! Oxygen Heat Fuel

3 FIRE How it Spreads! Conduction Convection Radiation

4 What the Law Says Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005: places the responsibility on individuals within an organisation to carry out risk assessments to identify, manage and reduce the risk of fire (including permitting for work in hazardous places/activities) Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations: employers to introduce control measures for dangerous substances and identify & classify explosive atmospheres. Building Regulations 2010: fire safety (including means of warning; escape routes; internal and external fire spread etc). The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007: suitable and sufficient fire fighting equipment, fire detection & alarm systems. Others....

5 The key is the FIRE RISK ASSESSMENT And this includes; A means of: escape giving warning fighting fires

6 MOBILE PLANT: Dumper Fire Incident Learning Points: Where possible avoid securing cables and hoses together. Where it is necessary additional insulation sleeving must be used. If the isolator key had been used then it is very unlikely that this fire would have occurred in the manner it did. All machinery should be electrically isolated when left unattended, removal of the isolator (where fitted) is also part of the Epic operator assessment. Where practical all mobile plant should be parked with sufficient spacing to prevent a fire spreading to other vehicles or structures. All mobile plant should be cleaned down and subject to a thorough visual inspection on a regular basis. A fire occurred on a Dumper -Cat 773E –model 2005, when it was parked up at the end of the shift. Investigation into the cause have identified that the auxiliary jump start battery cables, which run along the left front frame back toward the area of the left front suspension cylinder, had suffered deterioration whilst rubbing together over time. The battery cables pass over the steering hydraulic hoses inside the frame near the starter. The rubbing wore the insulation away on the positive battery cable and the rubber off the hydraulic hose. The two made contact and the fire started.

7 MOBILE PLANT: Other Issues to Consider Scenarios: Electrical short circuit leads to ignition of combustible material e.g. spilt fuel, lubricants. Leaking hydraulic fluid or fuel sprays onto hot engine components. Plastics etc come into contact with hot engine components/exhaust or block air inlets: an issue for landfill & recycling sites. Other Learning Points include: Undertake regular maintenance & inspection, with a focus on critical components such as hoses and their connections etc. Undertake routine inspection of electrical systems for corrosion or fatigue Shield heat sources (or insulate hoses near hot components). Specify fire detection and automatic suppression on new plant Provide training on hydraulic hazards, fire detection and response. Ensure that any retrofits such as visibility devices and associated wiring do not cross/chaff fuel lines or hydraulic pipes. Portable fire extinguishers should be readily available. Safe Systems for Charging Batteries

8 HOTWORK: Some examples Sand & Gravel Wharf: Linatex lined pipe-work was ignited during Hotwork The fire started when Linatex lined pipe-work was ignited during hot work. Heat from Arc Welding ignited the Linatex lining and the pipes design meant that the lining sparked and continued combustion at such a rate, (fed by the suction of air, as in a chimney), that it soon spread. Once it had spread to the Screens and the conveyors, it became impossible to stop.

9 HOTWORK: Learning Points When Linatex ignites, it is near impossible to extinguish and will migrate through the lined areas of the plant. ALL managers must review their hot work procedure when working on or near Linatex. This should be a reminder to everyone of the need for sufficient Risk Assessments/SWP's with adequate precautions when undertaking hot work. Dont just have a standby fire procedure, constantly damp down any lined areas around the hot working area. Insist that the isolation and lock off procedures are followed. (You may then be left with the problem that you cant have pumps running, to water down the aforementioned areas. Consider hiring a small engine driven pump to be used whilst the plant is isolated.) Insist on a 30minute fire-watch after the works are complete. Ensure you have suitable communications in place to carry out the emergency procedures Ensure all persons undertaking hot work are trained and competent

10 HOTWORK: Some examples The Yeoman Bostrup ablaze at Glensanda following Hotwork on a Hopper. Yeoman Bostrup: Complacency due to frequency of Hotwork; Poor housekeeping (chemicals/oils stowed in gangways & workshops); Paper risk assessment did not take account of residual risks (so additional control measures not considered); crew not practicised in fire fighting in that area. Recommendations relate to better control, early detection, containment and fire fighting measures (e.g. smoke detectors, fire curtains).

11 HOTWORK: Some examples Hot Metal came into contact with combustible material on screen underpan Screen Underpan (& Conveyor Fire): Contractor altered their method of work without updating their risk assessment or informing site management. Recommendations: If possible remove the rubber product or lining; contain sparks or hot debris, even after the work is finished. Wet the work area before and after ; water fire extinguishers must be available; Post a competent Fire Watch, Prepare an Emergency Plan; Take care if solvents or adhesives are used.

12 HOTWORK: Other Issues to Consider Most incidents involve hot metal igniting combustible materials which very rapidly escalates out of control and spreads along conveyors etc to potentially wipe out the entire plant. Hotwork Permits are generally in place but deviations occur and welding splatter can end up in the most awkward corners etc.

13 PROCESS SAFETY: Coating Plant Incident A serious fire occurred at a Coating Plant. Fortunately this event caused no harm to any personnel but did cause significant damage to the plant Learning Points include: Visibility: To plant operator (line of sight or CCTV) Risk Assess provision of automatic detection and suppression Review pipes and fittings (replace or cover plastic parts) Fit and maintain fuseable link unless automatic device fitted. Fit cut offs fitted to all fuel lines. Pre-start/Shutdown checks of fuel lines Review storage of propane cylinders Review emergency plan (including out of hours)

14 SITE OFFICES & PORTACABINS The cause of the fire is believed to have been either an electrical fault or something adjacent to a heat source catching alight. Learning Points include ensuring that; Plug sockets are not overloaded; Clothing and other flammable materials are not left on heaters to dry; Work stations are kept tidy, with paper not left adjacent to computer cooling fans etc; All portable appliances are switched off at the mains when not in use & overnight; Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is up to date and any faulty equipment removed; Smoking is only allowed in designated areas; Cigarettes & matches used in smoking areas are fully extinguished; Fire risk assessments have been carried out and actions are being followed; All electrical installations are visually inspected quarterly and fully inspected annually by competent persons. Notice boards are not situated above heaters

15 Conclusion Do the basics (smoking policy, good housekeeping, storage of flammable materials etc). Good quality risk assessments, effective control measures, regularly reviewed. Regular maintenance and inspection. Manage Hot work Consider automatic detection & suppression Facilitate early detection and effective fire fighting Emergency plans that have been tested and appropriate warning systems/emergency lighting/ means of escape/signage etc. Competent employees and contractors

16 Programme


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