Chip Feed System was shut down due to smoldering fire however workers did not turn off dust collector fan. Fire was determined out, fume duct was opened and residue was cleared out Two hours later the dry chip feed was restarted Within ten minutes maintenance noticed chips were falling out of the spark box into the dust collector duct A fireball erupted from beneath the furnace fume hood Timeline
Aftermath Worker’s clothing was engulfed in flames along with two other nearby workers Fire reached the roof where a contract worker was knocked off his feet but able to notify authorities An emergency was reported over intercom, employees evacuated Fire department on site within minutes Fire was extinguished two hours later Large amount of structural damage
Root Causes Accumulation of dust Improper housekeeping Lack of knowledge of danger Improper communication between management and operators Failure to investigate near misses
Lessons Learned Dust explosions are a major problem Minimal amounts of energy are required to explode Airborne dust can provide fuel for secondary explosions Dust lying around can easily become airborne during an explosion Learn from near misses and minor accidents With proper documentation Easier to connect the dots
Prevention Good housekeeping Inert the facility if possible Make sure all employees are aware of danger and wear necessary PPE Vent explosions/ use blast walls Regulations and legislations Currently no mandates H.R. 522: Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act of 2011- still pending
Summary Incident & Results Aluminum dust explosion resulting in 1 death Fire started in furnace, led to a secondary explosion Major cause: Dust build-up Lessons learned: The importance of proper housekeeping and good communication
Works Cited 1. Blair, Angela S. "Dust Explosion Incidents and Regulations in the United States." Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries 20.4-6 (2007): 523-29. SciVerse. Web. 25 Feb. 2012.. Crowl, Daniel A., and Joseph F. Louvar. "Concepts to Prevent Fires and Explosions." Chemical Process Safety: Fundamentals with Applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2011. 317-74. Print. Crowl, Daniel A., and Joseph F. Louvar. "Fires and Explosions." Chemical Process Safety: Fundamentals with Applications. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2011. 245-304. Print. "CSB Determines Fatal 2003 Incident at Hayes Lemmerz Plant in Indiana Most Likely Caused by Explosion in Dust Collection System; Company Did Not Identify or Control Hazards of Aluminum Dust." U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Web. 25 Feb. 2012.. 3. CSB. "Investigation Report:Aluminum Dust Explosion." U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. Web. 21 Feb. 2012.. 2. "Cutting Edge Technology and Products from Hayes Lemmerz." Cutting Edge Technology and Products from Hayes Lemmerz. Web. 25 Feb. 2012.. 4. "Emulsion." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Web. 21 Feb. 2012..