Monday, May 2, 2016

"natural gas burn victim, two workers... missing.."

The use of natural gas in our facilities is commonplace. On a day to day basis the hazard of natural gas is forgotten because incidents are so rare. But, on occasion incidents involving natural gas do occur. Here is a recent story.

Serious burns have been reported to one man who was injured in an industrial explosion and fire late one afternoon during the week of November 15, 2015 in the Midwest USA.

A local fire department news release said the natural gas blast occurred as an employee was attempting to relight a dryer. When the alarm came in, there was a report that besides the one burn victim, two workers were missing. However, all of the other employees were accounted for.

The victim, whose name wasn’t released, was treated at the scene and taken by ambulance to a local hospital with what were described as non-life threatening injuries to his hands and head.

Fire damage was contained to the dryer and other machinery in the plant with the flames brought under control using multiple fire extinguishers. Firefighters were on scene for over an hour.

The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog prays for the injured worker to recover fully from his physical and any mental injuries. We are unaware of the status of the “two worker (who) were missing”. Due to no follow-up stories on this incident we assume that they were found safe. When an explosion occurs emergency management programs have to be enacted immediately. How well workers respond depend directly on their training and drills. On plant visits we will ask workers “when was the last fire drill”. If workers cannot remember within seconds of when the last drill occurred, it has been too long.

OSHA has some useful information pertaining toward emergency evacuations. Which can be found here.

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