Friday, May 20, 2016

"told dispatchers he found ....military explosive (in a load of scrap)"

The sources of our scrap vary around the globe. When the scrap arrives at our facilities an inspection should be performed before accepting the material. The inspector is looking for items that would contaminate the scrap including but not limited to: butane lighters, aerosol cans, air bag canisters, live ammunition, hypodermic needles, flammable liquids or other safety related items. Here is a recent story:

Some businesses along Highway 421, in New Hanover County, North Carolina in the USA were evacuated Wednesday, May 18, 2016 after a military ordnance was found at Omnisource, a metal recycling plant.

According to 911 calls, a man told dispatchers he found what looked like a military explosive among the scrap metal, he later described it as being 3 feet long and 8 inches in diameter.

Emergency crews responded to the scene, including the bomb squad and a federal agency.

A lieutenant with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office said the area was secured in order to determine if the item was dangerous.

"In the abundance of safety we always take that seriously," the lieutenant explained. "We cornered off this area, we blocked off, we didn't shut off any area, but we evacuated some businesses until we could get personnel here to identify it. Luckily it was identified and it was shown that it didn't have any explosive components."

It was later determined that the item was a casing of a mortar round and not explosive.

The Aluminium Plant Safety Blog congratulates Omnisource and the worker who found a suspicious military item and followed his training and immediately notified the proper authorities. The APSB has posted incidents where live military ordinance was either ignored or hidden in scrap loads resulting in explosions. Not this time because the worker first acknowledge the hazard, stop the process (of sorting) and immediately contacted authorities. We are so very proud of that individual’s actions.

The Aluminium Association (USA) has a great document about scrap receiving and inspection. It can be obtained here.

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