March, 2001

This is a repeating event

200113MarAll DayBP Amoco Thermal Decomposition 2001BP Amoco Augusta (US-GA) Origin: CSB Lessons:Incident Investigation,Operational Integrity,Risk AssessmentIndustry:Plastics & PolymersCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Operator error

Summary

On March 13, 2001, three people were killed as they opened a process vessel containing hot plastic at the BP Amoco Polymers plant in Augusta, Georgia. They were unaware that the vessel was pressurized. The workers were killed when the partially unbolted cover blew off the vessel, expelling hot plastic. The force of the release caused some nearby tubing to break. Hot fluid from the tubing ignited, resulting in a fire.

KEY ISSUES:
• RECOGNITION OF REACTIVE HAZARDS
• LEARNING FROM NEAR-MISS INCIDENTS
• OPENING OF PROCESS EQUIPMENT

ROOT CAUSES:
1. Amoco, the developer of the Amodel process, did not adequately review the conceptual process design to identify chemical reaction hazards.
2. The Augusta facility did not have an adequate review process for correcting design deficiencies.
3. The Augusta site system for investigating incidents and nearmiss incidents did not adequately identify causes or related hazards. This information was needed to correct the design and operating deficiencies that led to the recurrence of incidents.


Image Credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

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