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Forklifts : Be Careful, Hazardous Operations !

Forklifts : be careful, hazardous operations !

  • Flash
Forklifts are often used for handling operations. They allow to carry toxic, flammable, explosive and other dangerous products on pallets. Manoeuvres can lead to hazardous situation with serious consequences : pollution or contamination following a split of products, fire ignited on hot spot created by the friction of the forklift forks, explosion of a fuel storage or electric batteries, intoxication due to CO/gas emission from the forklift… This newsflash presents 4 latest and significant technological accidents, caused by a handling with a f [...]
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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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Pallet Fire In A Combustible Materials Warehouse

Pallet fire in a combustible materials warehouse

  • Accident report
  • FRANCE

A fire broke out at 10:15 am in a warehouse subject to authorization (item 1510 of the nomenclature of the French classified installations) at an external storage of wooden pallets. Employees are evacuated prior to the arrival of firefighters.

The economic consequences of the event are estimated at:

  • 1,000 euros for material damage (destruction of 152 pallets);
  • 4,500 euros for operating losses (evacuation of staff for 40 minutes).

The volume of the extinguishing water is evaluated at 50 m³. No damage to the environment is noticed by the operator [...]

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Fire Outbreak Inside A Warehouse

Fire outbreak inside a warehouse

  • Accident report
  • FRANCE
The summary of this accident has not yet been translated. In the meantime, please refer to the French summary :

Un feu se déclare vers 5h30 sur le quai d'un entrepôt de 33 000 m² constitué de 3 cellules soumis à enregistrement (1510, année de construction 1993). Le système de sprinklage de la cellule n°2 se déclenche. Une alarme visuelle et sonore s'active et alerte le poste de garde qui appelle les secours à 5h35. Les pompiers, sur place à 6 h, arrosent le bâtiment avec 8 lances dont 3 sur échelle ; l'un d'eux se blesse à la main. La [...]

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Flooding Of A Chemical And Hydrocarbon Storage Site

Flooding of a chemical and hydrocarbon storage site

  • Accident report
  • ROYAUME-UNI

A storm surge coinciding with high tides raised the level of the Humber Estuary. The water flooded the gates of the port and filled the port to overflowing. A Seveso-classified chemical and hydrocarbon storage terminal was under 1 m of water. Following the weather alerts, the site shut down its operations and isolated its electrical power supplies. The terminal's non-essential employees were evacuated; the rest were moved to the safety of the upper floors of the operations building.

The walls surrounding the retention tanks were not flooded and [...]

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Flooding Of A Chemical Storage Site

Flooding of a chemical storage site

  • Accident report
  • ROYAUME-UNI

A storm surge coinciding with high tides caused the River Tees to rise. It flowed over and eroded the dykes built to protect the local residents. A Seveso-classified port terminal containing chemicals stored in tanks was flooded 1.8 m above ordnance datum.

The terminal's employees fled to the control room on the top floor of the main building. Most of the firewalls were submerged by the water. The rising water lifted a number of partially full storage tanks, damaging their pipes and supports in the process. A number of fixtures were damaged by [...]

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Mixing of incompatible products

  • Fact sheet
Transfer of chemicals between fixed and mobile tanks may cause mixtures of incompatible products. This risk is all the more pernicious as the mixture usually involves "classic" substances and widely used: bleach, acid ... This fact sheet presents some lessons learnt from the accidentology.
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CO2 Extinguishing Systems

CO2 extinguishing systems

  • Flash
Gas-based extinguishing processes become attractive when water cannot be used (e.g. computer equipment, audio/video archives, ship engine rooms), yet the associated risks must not be underestimated, as witnessed by the example of CO2 systems.
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Triggering Of The Foam Extinction System Inside A Chemicals Firm

Triggering of the foam extinction system inside a chemicals firm

  • Accident report
  • FRANCE

At 6:56 pm inside a warehouse for phytosanitary products assigned an upper-tier Seveso classification, the activation of a foam-based automatic extinction system installed in a 1,000-m² cell brought fire-fighters to the scene 44 min later. By the time responders arrived, the foam had filled the cell and hit the 10-m high ceiling.

A team of 3 fire-fighters wearing self-breathing apparatuses entered an adjoining room to verify that the fire doors were indeed closed. As they progressed, all physical and radio contact was lost with one of them, a [...]

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Fire And Explosions At An Aerosol Storage Warehouse

Fire and explosions at an aerosol storage warehouse

  • Accident report
  • ROYAUME-UNI

Fire broke out around 1 pm in a warehouse for sanitary aerosol products rated upper-tier Seveso. The facility contained some 4,000 pallets of spray cans, whose average ingredients consisted of 60% LPG and 40% ethanol by weight; it also housed an equivalent number of pallets with liquid hair dyes and plastic bottles of shampoo. These pallets, stored on racks up to 6 levels high, were transported using electric forklifts. The fire was discovered shortly after ignition, but internal first responders using an extinguisher were unable to control the [...]

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