Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Device Puts Out Fires With Sound Waves

From Industry Tap and George Mason University

Crank It Up! George Mason Students Designed Device That Puts Out Fires With Sound Waves

By: | March 26th, 2015
YouTube/George Mason University
YouTube/George Mason University

George Mason University’s Seth Robertson and Viet Tran have designed a device capable of  extinguishing fires with sound waves!

Who knew cranking up dubstep and waiting for the drop could actually be used for something  helpful?

Using $600 of equipment in total, encompassing amps, a speaker and something thing they call a  collimator, Robertson and Tran discovered sound in the 30 to 60 hertz range seems to vibrate the oxygen away from the fuel, causing the flame to die out.

The two students have already proven many of their peers and professors wrong, and actually already have a preliminary patent for their invention.

Next, is deciding whether or not the idea is scalable and if a full patent is necessary?

I’ll guess we’ll just have to wait and see what these two college students decide…

Friday, March 27, 2015

Grain Dust Flash Fire at Foods Feed Mill


Three Hospitalized After Flash Fire at OK Foods Feed Mill


LEFLORE COUNTY (KFSM) – Three people are hospitalized with severe
burns Tuesday morning (Mar. 24) after a flash fire at the OK Foods Feed
Mill in LeFlore County.

Two people remain in critical condition at a hosptial in Tulsa. The other worker was transported to Sparks Hospital with minor injuries.

An officer with Heavener Police said the flash fire happened at the mill on Highway 128 around 7:30 p.m. Monday night (Mar. 23). Authorities said it happened on the third floor of the mill, where two contract welders were working.

Authorities said grain dust suddenly caught fire.

Several employees were inside the building at the time of the incident jumping to safety from three stories up, authorities said. Most of them were able to make it outside of the building without any

The conditions and the identities of the burn victims are not being released at this time.

OK Foods CEO Trent Goins released the following statement on the incident:

“Three people were injured Monday at our feed mill in Heavener. An arc flash occurred while contract work was being performed on a feed bin. Three contract workers were transported to the local hospital were they remain today. Worker safety is paramount to OK Foods and we will continue to investigate this isolated incident, which did not impact the operation of the feed mill. The feed mill remains open today.”

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Inspector Says Lakeland Lacked Fire Safety Plan | CKPG | TV

From CKPG | TV Online

Inspector Says Lakeland Lacked Fire Safety Plan

140414_lakelandmillsFire inspection reports for the Lakeland Mill were reviewed at an inquest Monday.

A current captain with Prince George Fire Rescue testified regarding a series of inspections at the  Lakeland Mill before the April 2012 explosion. Fire Prevention Officer Captain Steve Feeney told the  inquest Lakeland was typically inspected on a yearly basis.

During an inspection in 2008, fire officials recognized a need for a mill fire safety plan. Feeney  alleged there was no plan in place at the mill during an inspection two years later. He says there was still no plan in inspections that followed.

Other reported issues included emergency exit lighting not being illuminated and an evacuation plan not being posted.

Jurors viewed  a US Chemical Safety Board video, which listed wood products as a potential source of combustible dust explosions.

Feeney says he inspected dust because of its fire risk. When asked if the captain knew dust was an explosion hazard in 2010, Feeney told inquest counsel “no.”

Counsel asked him when he learned of the explosion risk, Feeney replied “after Babine,” referencing the Burns Lake mill explosion in January, 2012.

In April that year, 43 year old Allan Little and 46 year old Glenn Roche died as a result of the  Lakeland explosion.

During a re-inspection at Lakeland a month before its explosion, Feeney said “the dust had been cleaned up. There was very little dust in the mill.”

The fire department doesn’t have the authority to shut down a workplace. Enforcement is carried out by the Office of the Fire Commissioner and Work Safe BC. The only penalty the fire department can
deal is a $150 fine to re-inspect a previous re-inspection.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Progress in controlling wood dust explosions

From the Vancouver Sun

Progress made in controlling wood dust in mills, agency reports


Scrutiny continues on industry after deadly wood dust-fuelled explosions in 2012

Smoke rises from the burned out Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake in January 2012.

Smoke rises from the burned out Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake in January 2012.


The B.C. sawmill industry is making progress in controlling potentially explosive wood dust, but monitoring will continue, says WorkSafeBC.
The chief agency responsible for workplace safety issued only three orders for wood dust problems during the latest inspection period between Oct. 1, 2014 and Jan. 31 that involved 117 sawmills.

The results, however, cannot be compared to those from the four previous inspection rounds when dozen of orders were issued because this time WorkSafeBC gave companies that had a good wood dust safety record the option of conducting their own daily inspection and reporting to WorkSafeBC on a weekly basis.

Of 106 mills who passed previous rounds of inspections, 96 chose to do this.

The other mills opted for WorkSafeBC inspections or third-party inspections.

The orders included one on Nov. 5 against Teal Cedar in Surrey for not developing and implementing a wood-dust  management program, according to inspection reports obtained from WorkSafeBC.

Another order was issued Nov. 25 to Conifex Timber in Fort St. James for wood dust accumulations at the sawmill  chipper determined to be a “high risk” of fire.

The area of the mill was ordered to be shut down while it was cleaned, which took less than two hours.

“We are pleased with what we see, but also still cautious,” said WorkSafeBC vice-president prevention Al Johnson.

He noted that because mills had been given the option of self-inspections, they would need to “validate” progress with another round of WorkSafeBC inspections, likely before the summer.

“But indications are that mills have taken a strong level of ownership to the issue,” said Johnson.

He said he’s hopeful the daily inspections and other measures will become part of the industry’s health-and-safety culture and WorkSafeBC can eventually cease its special attention to wood dust.

The latest inspection results were outlined in an interim report released Wednesday on a plan by former B.C. bureaucrat Gord Macatee to improve investigations to increase chances of court convictions and improve safety at sawmills.

Macatee was appointed by the B.C. Liberal government as a special adviser to WorkSafeBC after investigations failed to result in court charges in two deadly wood dust-fuelled sawmill explosions in 2012. The explosions at Babine Forest  Products near Burns Lake and at Lakeland Mills in Prince George killed four workers and severely injured dozens more.

Macatee said he was pleased 96 mills opted for their own daily inspections. “What I was trying to get to was just because you were lucky enough to not to have a problem the day the inspector happened to be there, you also need to be sure you are good every day,” he said.

Council of Forest Industries president James Gorman said he believes improved dust management at sawmills will be  maintained because mills have embedded dust control into their daily operations and spent millions of dollars upgrading equipment to control dust.

In a previous round of WorkSafeBC inspections, during the winter of 2013, 42 per cent of 144 sawmills inspected  received citations for dust accumulations, ventilation problems, inadequate dust control programs or the use of high-pressure air to move dust.

That same winter, WorkSafeBC issued 13 stop-work orders for levels of wood dust it considered an immediate safety threat.

During the latest round of WorkSafeBC’s inspections of B.C.’s 10 wood pellet plants, four orders were issued including a stop-work order at Okanagan Pellet in West Kelowna on Nov. 18.
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