Date: Tue, 24 Nov 2009 09:05:24 -0500
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Subject: 6 Chemical Safety Stories found by Google

North Carolina

Mooresville waste station reopens after chemical incident injures 2
By Melinda Skutnick | Mooresville Tribune

The Mooresville Waste Transfer Station reopened Monday afternoon 
following a morning chemical-disposal incident that injured two 
sanitation workers and shut down the facility. 

About 10:30 a.m., two Town of Mooresville employees received minor burns 
when acid-based materials in a residential trash can on Boger Street 
created a small explosion as they were collected and compressed in a 
garbage truck. 

Mooresville Fire Battalion Chief J.L. Barrier said town firefighters and 
the Mooresville Hazardous Materials (Haz-mat) squad were called to the 

Additional contamination occurred at the transfer station on N.C. 150 
when the town garbage truck was unloaded. To neutralize the chemical 
waste there and in the truck, a special cleanup company was brought in. 
The transfer station reopened to the public by 4:30 p.m. Monday. 

In a news release, Barrier said the two injured workers were treated for 
minor burns and released. 

David Lambert, director of solid waste for Iredell County, said that 
"whoever disposed this material made a mistake." He said chemical waste 
spills are not common in the county, and that he only recalled one other 
incident, in Statesville, in the past 16 years. 

However, he and Mooresville Public Works Manager John Finan said events 
such as this reiterate the need for the proper disposal of chemical 

"It's a dangerous profession and we always seek to protect employees," 
said Finan. 

Lambert noted that residents should contact the Iredell County Solid 
Waste Department whenever they are unsure about the safe handling and 
disposal of any chemicals. 


Hazmat team called to University of Utah
Friday, Nov. 20, 2009 11:06 p.m. MST 

The Salt Lake City Fire Department cleaned up a minor chemical spill
Friday at the University of Utah.

Two security guards checking an open door at the Henry Eyring Building
about 7 p.m. noticed a chemical smell, said fire department hazmat
specialist Mark Bednarik.

The pair's eyes began burning, Bednarik said. They called their
supervisor, who called 911.

Crews found glycol, spilled from the heating and air conditioning
system, and cleaned it up. Bednarik said the guards' symptoms cleared up
after they left the building.


Chemical plant explosions injure four in France  

PARIS, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Four men were injured during a series of 
explosions which happened Monday evening in a chemical factory belonging 
to French major chemical producer SNF in central France.

The first explosion happened at 5:45 p.m. local time in the chemical 
plant which is located in Andrezieux-Boutheon, a central town of Loire 
department, while the second occurred ten minutes later at the same 

The injured suffering from burning and scratches were all sent to 
hospitals. There was no big fire triggered by the explosions, the 
firefighters said.

The government of Loire said that they had not detected any leak of 
dangerous chemical element caused by the explosion, confirming the 
environmental safety for nearby residents.

The plant with an area of over ten square kilometers is located15 
kilometers away from the nearest habitant community in Saint-Etienne, 
which has been partly evacuated after the accident, local media 

There are about 50 firefighters working on the site to determine the 
source of the blasts although primary investigation says chemical 
reaction during the experiments carried out in the workshop was the 

The France-based SNF company is a world leading producer of water 
treatment chemicals, with branches planted in American, European and 
Asian countries. =E3=80=80



'Poor maintenance caused deadly Gladstone blast' court told

November 23, 2009 03:00pm

MACHINERY blamed for the Gladstone munitions factory explosion had not 
been properly maintained, a court has heard.

And records of its maintenance were not kept in the years leading up to 
the May 2006 blast.

Today, the trial of Quin Investments and its responsible officer, 
Nikolai Kuzub, for two counts of alleged breaches of workplace safety 
laws began in the Industrial Relations Court.

The explosion at the factory near Gladstone, in the state's Mid North, 
on May 9, 2006, killed Damian Harris, Matt Keeley and Darren Millington 
and injured Cameron Edson and Damian John.

Today, prosecutor Liesl Chapman told the court Quin Investments and Mr 
Kuzub had failed "to provide and maintain, as far as reasonably 
practical, a safe work environment".

On the day of the explosion the five workers were creating a pre-mix for 
cartridge explosives in a ribbon blending machine.

Ms Chapman said a displaced shaft in the blender, or mixer, had created 
friction, triggering a chemical reaction inside the secondhand piece of 
machinery, to cause the explosion.

She said the workers could not be blamed for the explosion.

She told the court neither the blender, nor other "critical items" of 
machinery had proper maintenance records.

She said the presence of "explosive and flammable items in and around 
the factory while the premix was being made", including cast TNT and 
moulten TNT had also posed a danger to factory workers.

But Grant Germein, for the defendants, said the cause of the blast was 
"hotly contested".

He said the company was being used as a scapegoat and SafeWork SA's 
investigation into the incident was "not directed at the cause of the 
explosion", but to "see if they could find a culprit".

"But knowing that we will be convicted, and that's because this tragedy 
has been downgraded to a workplace incidents so that it can be put 
before this court as a industry matter without any investigation as 
promised by the Premier undertaken," Mr Germein said.

He said the "victims and their families have been short-changed and the 
public has been dudded" because the government's promised inquiry had 
never been done.

If convicted, the maximum penalty for each count is a $100,000 fine.

General Interest:

Hazmat Survival Tips: 10 Initial Response Considerations for First 

Beyond the Rule of Thumb
Survival Tip 46

By Steven De Lisi

First responders learn a considerable amount of information during their 
basic training, including how to safely respond to incidents involving 
hazardous materials. Unfortunately, there are almost always 
"disconnects=" between academia and the real world. 
Hazardous materials response is no exception. This is not to say that 
basic training is inadequate, but that real-world exposure helps first 
responders learn what is really important to ensure their survival.
The 10 initial response considerations discussed in this column are 
based on personal experience in dealing with numerous incidents and 
represent items first responders sometimes overlook despite their 
training and best efforts to manage an incident effectively.

(more at URL above)


The Department of Energy has released am extensive (237 page)  guidance 

document on the handling of elemental mercury, to include storage and  

transportation, as well as spill response procedures:

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