Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 07:54:38 -0500
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Subject: 2 Chemical Safety news stories from Google


Houston company faces $1.47M fine following fatal explosion

RP news wires

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA) on January 4 issued CES Environmental Services 
Inc. willful and serious citations after an investigation into a fatal 
explosion at the company's Griggs Road facility in Houston. Proposed 
penalties total $1,477,500.
In July 2009, an employee cleaning a tank was killed in an explosion 
when an altered piece of equipment ignited flammable vapors inside the 
tank. The fatality was the third death in less than a year at this 
employer's facilities; two hydrogen sulfide exposure-related deaths at a 
related facility, Port Arthur Chemical and Environmental Services LLC 
(PACES), occurred in December 2008 and April 2009.
"Proper precaution prevents deaths," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. 
Solis. "Employers should take steps to eliminate hazards and provide a 
safe working environment for their workers. That is the law."
Based on the most recent investigation, OSHA has issued 15 willful 
citations with proposed penalties totaling $1,050,000, alleging that 15 
pieces of electrical equipment were unsafe to use in the tank wash area 
due to the presence of flammable and combustible vapors. Two additional 
willful citations with proposed penalties totaling $125,000 have been 
issued. One alleges that CES failed to ventilate tanks in which 
employees were working, exposing the workers to toxic atmospheric 
hazards. The other alleges that CES stored flammable and reactive 
chemicals together, which posed fire and explosion hazards.
In addition, OSHA has issued 54 serious violations with proposed 
penalties totaling $302,500. These include allegations that CES failed 
to implement all aspects of the process safety management standard; 
provide proper respiratory protection, confined space rescue equipment 
and adequate fall protection; properly install and maintain boiler 
equipment; implement an emergency response plan, and adequate energy 
control procedures; train powered industrial truck operators; guard and 
to anchor machinery adequately; store compressed gas cylinders safely; 
and label hazardous chemicals.
A willful citation is characterized by an employer's intentional 
disregard of the standards or plain indifference to employee safety and 
health. A violation is characterized as serious when death or serious 
physical harm could result if an accident were to occur as the result of 
a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
OSHA previously cited PACES following the December 18, 2008, and the 
April 14, 2009, fatalities and proposed penalties of $16,600 and 
$207,800, respectively. Both of those fatalities occurred in Port 
Arthur, Texas. Those citations were contested and are being litigated 
before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. 
CES and PACES together employ 155 workers. CES has 15 business days from 
receipt of the latest citations to comply, request an informal 
conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the 
independent review commission.

Please reference this article as:
RP news wires, "Houston company faces $1.47M fine following fatal 
explosion". Reliable Plant Magazine. /


Langford Fire Rescue to test high-pressure spray device

If the circumstance calls for it, Langford firefighters are going to 
throw a fit.

Or more precisely they will throw a device called a Fire Interruption 
Technology (FIT).

The Langford department purchased six of the devices with the intent of 
evaluating them to see if they should become a permanent addition to the 
firefighter=92s arsenal.

=93The FIT is a device that can be thrown into a fire that deploys a 
chemical that interrupts the fire at the molecular level,=94 said Lieut. 
Steve Adams.

Basically, the device is similar to a fire extinguisher, except it can 
cover more surface area. Firefighters prime the FIT, and like a grenade, 
they have a limited amount of time to throw it into a fire.

Spraying out high-pressure chemicals, one FIT can smother a fire within 
2,000 square feet, Adams said. That means better safety for the 
firefighter and potentially less damage for the property owner, he 

The FITs could be used in difficult to access fires, Adams said, such as 
attic or basement blazes. The chemical retardant lowers the heat and 
intensity of a fire, allowing firefighters to use less water to control 
the blaze.

The combination of less burn time and less water equals less damage for 
the property owner, Adams said.

Langford Fire Rescue learned about the devices at a training expo in the 
United States and got a deal to test drive them. Normally, the FITs 
retail for about $2,000.

=93To my knowledge, we are the first department on Southern Vancouver 
Island to implement them,=94 Adams said.


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