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The Deepwater Horizon Incident: Fire and Explosion Issues
The loss of life and serious environmental damage from the blow out incident on the semi-submersible drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in 2010 in the US sector of the Gulf of Mexico has forced a reappraisal of the risks associated with drilling. HSE commissioned this work in order to consider the lessons to be learned from this international incident. It is important for HSE to stimulate and inform consideration of fire and explosion risks amongst the designers and operators of drilling rigs. Well control is clearly the first priority but some residual risk of blowout normally remains. This report...
Spontaneous ignition of gas turbine lubricants at temperatures below their standard auto-ignition temperatures
In order to determine how process conditions can influence minimum auto-ignition temperatures in gas turbine enclosures, and other industrial installations, a novel type of calorimeter has been developed at HSE's Buxton research laboratory. This instrument, a Spontaneous Combustion Calorimeter (SCC), has been used to investigate the ignition properties of pure substances, such as n-heptane and compare the results with minimum ignition temperatures determined using standard methods. This was followed by a more detailed investigation of the ignition of gas-turbine lubricants. Source: http://www...
Health and Safety Risks for Workers Involved in Manual Tank Gauging and Sampling at Oil and Gas Extraction Sites
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have identified health and safety risks to workers who manually gauge or sample fluids on production and flowback tanks from exposure to hydrocarbon gases and vapors, exposure to oxygen-deficient atmospheres, and the potential for fires and explosions. Source:
Incendie et explosion lors du travail mécanique de l'aluminium
Le travail mécanique de l'aluminium est un process au cours duquel les risques d'incendie et d'explosion liés aux poussières générées ou à l'hydrogène éventuellement émis par réaction de ce métal avec l'eau sont élevés. La mise en place des moyens de prévention et des mesures de protection est complexe et requiert une étude approfondie qui, outre l'évacuation des poussières et gaz, devra prévoir la réduction des sources d'inflammation...
Un guide dédié aux professionnels de la menuiserie
Le FCBA vient d’éditer un guide pratique pour aider les professionnels de la menuiserie à mieux prévenir le risque incendie lors de travaux de rénovation intérieure de bâtiments. Ce guide a été conçu pour mieux informer et sensibiliser à la sécurité incendie les professionnels de la menuiserie et de l’agencement lorsqu’ils interviennent sur un chantier en l’absence de maîtrise d’œuvre. Source :
Generation of flammable mists from high flashpoint fluids: Literature review
Hazardous Area Classification (HAC) for explosive gas atmospheres is well established, with guidance published in various standards and industry codes of practice. However, the same situation is not currently the case for high flashpoint liquid releases that could give rise to an explosive mist atmosphere. There is a pressing need for clear guidance on mist hazards to allow operators to determine the extent of areas where flammable mists may be present and to select appropriate equipment for use in those areas. This report provides a survey of the recent literature on flammable mists and pulls...
Design optimization of hazardous substance storage facilities to minimize project risk
The storage of dangerous substances is a high risk procedure: a historical analysis revealed that 17% of the major accidents associated with the chemical industry are related to this process. When a storage facility is designed, the investment in safety is not always optimal. The safety measures that are applied are sometimes redundant or ill-maintained. One way to improve safety in a storage facility would be to take advantage of the fact that dividing the mass of dangerous substance results in less catastrophic accidents. In this paper, we present a new method for optimizing the design of storage...
Buncefield Explosion Mechanism Phase 1
The Buncefield explosion (11 December 2005) resulted in tremendous damage to the outlying area and huge fires involving 23 large oil fuel tanks. One important aspect of the incident was the severity of the explosion, which would not have been anticipated in any major hazard assessment of the oil storage depot before the incident. The Buncefield Major Incident Investigation Board (MIIB) invited explosion experts from academia and industry to form an Advisory Group to advise on the work that would be required to explain the severity of the Buncefield explosion. This MIIB Advisory Group carried out...

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