Showing posts from July, 2011

Non-compliance can be expensive

From comes a story about a judge who ruled in favor of the insurance company after a fire, when a company had not updated it's protection systems. This could also apply to the process industries. Think about what this could mean for your company. If you think compliance is expensive, look at the cost of non-compliance.

Massachusetts Judge: Obsolete Fire-Suppression Means No Claims Paid
A Massachusetts restaurant owner who failed to upgrade his obsolete fire suppression system was not entitled to collect insurance money after a massive fire six years ago — and must return $15,000 advanced to him by his insurer, an appeals court judge ruled.
At issue is an exclusion in a commercial lines policy issued to the French King restaurant in Erving, which required the restaurant owner to maintain a fire suppression system. The insurer — Interstate Fire & Casualty Co., a subsidiary of Fireman’s Fund — claimed that the fire-suppression system installed at the …

Georgia Biomass Explosion

From the Florida Times Union and, a brief story about the explosion at Georgia Biofuels.  Pelletizers, dryers, grinders, pellet coolers, dust collection systems, and storage silo's are main concerns for safety systems to prevent fires and explosions at biomass pellet plants. This fire appears to have started in one of the pellet mills or "pelletizers" which extrude wood dust into pellets at high speed creating friction and heat. The fire was then likely transferred to the pellet coolers and dust collection systems which contain combustible dust in suspension causing the deflagration.

-Jeff Nichols

Overheated assembly caused Georgia Biomass explosion |

By Teresa Stepzinski Wood pellet production should resume today at Georgia Biomass, which was crippled by a dust explosion last month. The plant is near Waycross.
"We're ramping up now ... starting the equipment and getting it all ready to go," plant manager Ken…

Workplace Safety * Consider Inherent Safety at Your Plant

Workplace Safety | Consider Inherent Safety at Your Plant | Chemical Processing

From, an excellent article on Inherent Safety Design (ISD).  Here are a few important highlights for ISD.  This article has been condensed for space, for the full article, click on the link above.

Consider Inherent Safety at Your Plant
Many sites can benefit -- but confusion about how to identify options stymies efforts.By Dennis C. Hendershot, process safety consultant.

Inherently safer design (ISD) is a philosophy for designing and operating a safe process plant [1,2]. ISD aims to eliminate or significantly reduce hazards, rather than managing them with hardware and procedures. When feasible, ISD provides more robust and reliable risk management and, by eliminating costs associated with safety equipment and procedures, may make processes simpler and more economical.

Levels of Inherent Safety
Used during detailed equipment configuration and design, it can eliminate or significan…

Failure Modes of Equipment Reliability Processes

Failure Modes of Equipment Reliability Processes

From a great and timely article outlining various Failure Modes including not understanding the Equipment Reliability Process, and related to combustible dust fires and explosions not understanding Mechanical Ignition sources. For the full article click on the link above.
Failure Modes of Equipment Reliability Processes Gary Fore, CMRPBill Hillman

Most equipment failures are a result of failed reliability processes. This article covers many of the reasons why equipment reliability processes fail. The authors have personally observed all of the reasons for reliability process failure discussed in this paper.
Failure Mode: Implementation Failure
It can be rightfully argued that all equipment reliability process (EqRP) failure modes are somehow tied to poor implementation. Not establishing an initial direction is a critical mistake in the implementation process. Establishing clear goals and expectations and a clear…