At around 5 p.m., a massive explosion destroyed a 4-storey building consisting of 10 flats, killing 17 people and injuring 15 others. Two semi-detached council housing buildings were damaged (10 flats). One hundred firemen intervened, assisted by search and rescue teams: dog-handlers, heavy machinery such as backhoe loaders, etc. A security perimeter was set up. Rescue operations are made difficult by the possibility of residual gas pockets: fire hoses are installed as long as the risk is present. 274 homes were without gas while the premises [...]
More and more plants and factories are being automated and the amount of information being transmitted over telecommunication networks is increasing. The general consensus is that there is a risk. However, is it possible to delineate this risk and evaluate its consequences — particularly its environmental consequences — by analysing the events logged in ARIA’s database? For an answer, download this flash.
The accident that occurred in Dieppe, France, on 17 February 2018, reminds us that the process of manufacturing vegetable oil is not without risk. Although in the present case the explosion was located in the vegetable oil extractor, the many steps of the process are accident-prone. This report presents, for each step, the associated risks and preventive measures.
Accidents caused by incompatible mixtures are not limited to newly-produced chemicals! The end of their life cycle can also be a source of risk. Several recent events in France and abroad confirm this, sometimes with dramatic consequences. This flash focusses on this issue, underlying the failures at the origin of the accidents and making a few recommendations to avoid their occurrence.
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 [...]
Feedback on the flooding of industrial sites in January 2018 in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region (France)
At the end of January 2018, the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region (BFC) suffered numerous episodes of intense rainfall and floods. The storm Eleanor was indeed, according to Meteo-France, accompanied the 4 and 5 of January of rainy precipitations and important snow on the east of France. These weather events have not been without impact on industrial facilities. Summarizing the results of the questionnaires received by the DREAL Bourgogne-Franche-Comté from the operators concerned, this document summarizes some elements of feedback.
The relative increase in disposal costs and regulatory requirements (an overall reduction in landfilling by 2025, and sorting at source of bio-waste) allow composting activities to continue to grow in France. This development is highly beneficial from an environmental standpoint, but it is accompanied by a significant increase in accidents in these activities. This document focuses on fires, the dominant hazardous phenomenon. The aim is to identify the vulnerabilities of these activities and propose measures to prevent and protect against accid [...]
A computer attack on an industrial control system (SCI) can cause an accident or a degraded operating mode in a factory. This document, with pedagogical vocation, illustrates through examples extracted from the ARIA database some cases that could lead to this kind of situation. In order to improve the security of the sites, a grid of questions completes the analysis as well as an item on cyber attacks types.
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.
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
The ARIA database on technological accidents lists 26,271 events in French industrial establishments between 1 January 1992 and 31 December 2016. This large sample allows to give some trends on the exposure of the territories (regions, county) to the industrial risk.
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.
Runaway reactions are a major source of industrial accidents. They can occur in a wide array of sectors, including chemicals, petrochemicals, food processing, plastics and rubber manufacturing, and metalworking and are primarily caused by a loss of process control. The processes involved are quite diverse, encompassing chemical reaction, polymerisation and distillation, among others. The loss of process control is related with various factors that are examined in this article. Several accidents that occurred in France and recorded in the ARIA1 [...]
Since its creation in 1999, the seminar on “Lessons Learnt from Industrial Accidents” is organized every two years by the BARPI. This event is devoted to inspectors of the environment. It is organized with the support of the European Union Network for the Implementation and Enforcement of Environmental Law (IMPEL). Below are the proceedings of the latest edition, which took place in Lyon on 31 May and 1 June 2017.
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.