Eugene, so glad you were not seriously harmed. Thanks so much for the courage to share the information on something that others can learn from and reinforce that, no matter how experienced one is, there is always that moment...
What would be most helpful, as you continue your review, to share those steps and elements that you believe to be part of what you describe as deviations or specifically what you believe to be causal factors in the process, procedures and materials that led to the unintended outcome. The process of critically analyzing such unintended incidents and near misses is somewhat of an art unto itself and something others in the science and safety communities could learn to do better. A recap of this would contribute to that learning as well.
Again, glad you are ok physically and thanks for sharing.
Lawrence M. Gibbs, CIH, FAIHA
Associate Vice Provost for EH&S
480 Oak Road
Stanford, CA 94305-8007
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**med.cornell.edu] On Behalf Of Eugene Ngai
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2016 7:00 AM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Lucky to be Alive
Some of you might have seen a video of a safety demo that I did this week that went terribly wrong. I am ashamed that I ignored some deviations and continued to do my silane demo that I have done many times in the past without incident. With almost 100 people watching I had an uncontrolled silane vent/fire of 1600 psig that torched my Nomex coveralls, hood and faceshield. This 15 sec event seemed like 20 minutes as I desperately tried to shutoff the flow. The 3 ft flame was at the cylinder valve and the radiant heat was intense as I reached for the alternate shutoff valve, I was worried that the aluminum nitrogen purge cylinder was going to explode due to the heat. My PPE saved me from burns. I was fortunate to have turned and ducked as the flames came over my head at one point.
I have been campaigning for silane safety for more than 10 years and yet I ignored some basic rules. 44 years of handling silane under many conditions and still I was so stupid. God saved me for another day
Luck should not be part of the safety program
Chemically Speaking LLC
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