April, 2004

This is a repeating event

200408AprAll DayGiant Industries Refinery Fire Explosion 2004Giant Industries Ciniza (US-NM) Origin: CSB Lessons:Asset integrity,Management of Change,Operational IntegrityIndustry:RefiningCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Maintenance error

Summary

On April 8, 2004, four workers were seriously injured when highly flammable gasoline components were released and ignited at the Giant Industries Ciniza refinery, east of Gallup, New Mexico. The release occurred as maintenance workers were removing a malfunctioning pump from the refinery’s hydrofluoric acid (HF) alkylation unit. Unknown to personnel, a shut-off valve connecting the pump to a distillation column was apparently in the open position, leading to the release and subsequent explosions.

KEY ISSUES:
• MECHANICAL INTEGRITY
• CORROSION & SCALE FORMATION
• VALVE DESIGN
• HUMAN FACTORS CONSIDERATION
• MANAGEMENT OF CHANGE
• LOCKOUT/TAGOUT & ISOLATION

ROOT CAUSES:
1. An MOC hazard analysis was not conducted.
2. the facility lacked procedures to verify that the pump had been isolated, depressurized and drained.
3. Instead of determining the cause of frequent pump malfunctions and then implementing a program that would prevent problems before they occurred, Giant used breakdown maintenance by making repeated repairs to the pump seals after failure.


Image Credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

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