January, 2003

This is a repeating event

200302JanAll DayCatalyst Systems Reactive Explosion 2003Catalyst Systems Gnadenhutten (US-OH) Origin: CSB Lessons:Commitment & Culture,Risk AssessmentIndustry:ChemicalsCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Overpressure

Summary

A benzoyl peroxide (BPO) explosion and fire that occurred at the Catalyst Systems, Inc., production facility in Gnadenhutten, Ohio. At 11:55 am on January 2, 2003, a vacuum dryer holding nearly 200 pounds of BPO exploded. Employees were drying granular 75 percent BPO to make 98 percent BPO when the material explosively decomposed. One employee was slightly injured, and the BPO processing building was significantly damaged.

KEY ISSUES:
• HAZARDS OF BENZOYL PEROXIDE
• REACTIVE CHEMICAL HAZARDS
• PROCESS SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

ROOT CAUSES:
1. Industry standards and guidance documents not reviewed and followed.
2. Good engineering practices to manage the hazards not implemented.


Image Credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

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