June, 2006

This is a repeating event

200605JunAll DayPartridge Raleigh Oilfield Explosion 2006Partridge-Raleigh oilfield Raleigh (US-MS) Origin: CSB Lessons:Control of WorkIndustry:Onshore Oil & GasCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Maintenance error

Summary

An explosion at the Partridge-Raleigh oilfield in Raleigh, Mississippi. The incident occurred at about 8:30 a.m. on June 5, 2006, when Stringer’s Oilfield Services contract workers were installing pipe from two production tanks to a third. Welding sparks ignited flammable vapor escaping from an open-ended pipe about four feet from the contractors’ welding activity on tank 4. The explosion killed three workers who were standing on top of tanks 3 and 4. A fourth worker was seriously injured.

KEY ISSUES:
• HOT WORK CONTROL
• SAFE WORK PRACTICES AT OIL & GAS PRODUCTION WELLS

ROOT CAUSES:
1. A gas detector was not used to test for flammable vapor.
2. ‘Flashing’ tanks containing hydrocarbons with a lit oxy-acetylene torch to determine the presence of flammable vapor is unsafe and extremely dangerous.
3. The open pipe on the adjacent tank was not capped or otherwise isolated.
4. A makeshift work platform – a ladder placed between the tanks – was used.
5. All tanks were interconnected and some of the tanks contained flammable residue and crude oil.


Image credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

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