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Beware Of Smoke From Fire!

Beware of smoke from fire!

  • Flash
Whether white (rich in aerosols or water vapour), grey (a mixture of aerosols and solid particles) or black (large solid particles), the smoke released from fires presents several risks. Beyond death from intoxication, fumes are a potential health hazard owing to the substances they contain. Smoke is also corrosive to metal structures or electronic components. Finally, they can accentuate the combustion of surrounding goods by pyrolysis.
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Seal/Gasket Accident Study

Seal/Gasket accident study

  • Flash
In early March 2017, the ARIA database identified 349 events involving fittings and seals/gaskets. These elements are often encountered on pipe flanges and are also essential sealing components for valves or other equipment. Insufficiently tightened flange bolts and deficient leak inspections on seals/gaskets are often the cause of an accident
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Biogas And Corrosion

Biogas and corrosion

  • Flash
Numerous forms of corrosion have been found on steel equipment used in the manufacture or transport of biogas. Three corrosion degradation modes are presented here based on events that occurred in France. It seems that corrosion should be taken into account from the design stage of the installations.
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Mastering The Ageing Of Facilities: A Long-term Investment To Avoid Accidents!

Mastering the ageing of facilities: a long-term investment to avoid accidents!

  • Flash
When operating an industrial site, it is essential to research its economic optimisation, though systematic reasoning in terms of the cost/benefit ratio has its limitations! Minimising the risks when the initial signs of aging appear or trying to keep one's equipment going until it eventually falls apart can be very dangerous. And sometimes, the financial consequences of accidents are much higher than the investments related to quality design and regular maintenance. This is illustrated below by several recent events presented in this flash.
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Ageing And Management Of Spare Parts: A Major Challenge

Ageing and management of spare parts: a major challenge

  • Flash
The accident can quickly occur when the repair of an ageing equipment is not conducted in a timely manner! Often involved: an improper management of replacement parts, which are not available in due course. Patch-up jobs, consisting in reallocating pieces coming from other units without taking sufficient precautions, can also be particularly dangerous. Based on illustrative events, this flash draws a panorama of risky configurations and provides some good practices.
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Accidentology Associated With The Ageing Of Industrial Installations

Accidentology associated with the ageing of industrial installations

  • Flash
Ageing of industrial installations is a normal and well-known phenomenon. However, it deserves to be properly managed! Conception or construction defaults, insufficient maintenance are some of the several factors that can contribute to an uncontrolled acceleration of ageing… and that continue to lead to accidents with sometimes heavy consequences. As far as ageing is concerned, anticipation remains the key word! This flash offers an overview of the main degradation mechanisms and some lessons learnt from accidents.
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Leakage of ethylene under pressure in a petrochemical complex

  • Accident report
  • FRANCE

Damaged compressor : dual-stage compressor compressing ethylene from 3 to 33 bar. It operates alternately with the main compressor. On the day of the accident, it had been in operation for 43 days since its last maintenance five months prior. It was located next to two other compressors (Nos. 2 and 3). The latter two had been shut down and automatically isolated upon activation of the gas detectors, which was not the case for the damaged compressor No. 1, which had to be isolated manually from the control room.

In a petrochemical complex, a [...]

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Seal Boxes : Not To Be Mistaken As A Cure For Ageing

Seal boxes : not to be mistaken as a cure for ageing

  • Flash
Commonly used to plug leaks on pipelines, seal boxes serve stop discharge flows without entirely shutting down production. Despite this advantage, several accidents have shown that this type of remedial action is not sustainable and moreover necessitates regular monitoring during operations while awaiting definitive repairs.
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Chronic leakage of toxic effluents in a chemical plant

  • Accident report
  • ALLEMAGNE

In a chemical plant, a leak of effluents containing acetonitrile (a harmful and flammable solvent) from the process wastewater system lead to groundwater contamination. As the network was used only sporadically, the duration of the leak could not be accurately determined. A maximal estimate gave 557 days. The potential loss is estimated to be 61 t of acetonitrile.

Wells were established to try to recover the pollutant through pumping and to sample the groundwater. Three tonnes of acetonitrile were recovered by pumping operations over a period [...]

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Lessons learnt from accidents involving ageing of industrial facilities

  • Slideshow
This document presents the conclusions of an analysis conducted on more than 700 French accidents, extracted from the ARIA database, involving ageing. If corrosion is the first cause underlying accidents, fatigue is another recurrent one. Recurrent failures leading to corrosion are inappropriate technical choices, insufficient maintenance or human errors. Besides property damage and operating losses generated by an eventual accident, structural ageing represents a sizeable cost for industry. Taking preventive action serves to extend installati [...]
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