April, 1998

This is a repeating event

199808AprAll DayMorton International Runaway Chemical Reaction 1998Morton International Inc. Paterson (US-NJ) Origin: CSB Lessons:Commitment & Culture,Risk Assessment,Workforce InvolvementIndustry:ChemicalsCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Overpressure

Summary

On April 8, 1998, an explosion and fire occurred during the production of Automate Yellow 96 Dye at the Morton International Inc. plant in Paterson, New Jersey. The explosion and fire were the consequence of a runaway reaction, which overpressurized a 2000-gallon chemical vessel and released flammable material that ignited. Nine employees were injured.

KEY ISSUES:
• INTERNAL HAZARD COMMUNICATION & PROCESS SAFETY INFORMATION
• REACTIVE HAZARD MANAGEMENT
• PROCESS SAFETY MANAGEMENT

ROOT CAUSES:
1. Neither the preliminary hazard assessment conducted by Morton in Paterson during the design phase in 1990 nor the process hazard analysis conducted in 1995 addressed the reactive hazards of the Yellow 96 process.
2. Process safety information provided to plant operations personnel and the process hazard analysis team did not warn them of the potential for a dangerous runaway chemical reaction.


Image Credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

X