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Abstract of Speedy and Safe Development of Infrastructure Project at Sivakasi

The illiteracy of the fireworks employees, the hesitancy from the occupiers of fireworks industries and the remoteness of the fireworks industries have all clubbed together to form a very big barrier in between the infrastructure providers and the establishment of fireworks safety. The first move to reinforce the infrastructure towards better Hazard Communication Programme1 in accordance with United Nations Classification System, Material Safety Data Sheet and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA704) Hazard Diamond Information2. Only when an employee with a working understanding of the chemical reactions involved would be able to serve as an informational resource in the development of infrastructure towards Zero Harm. The occupiers of the fireworks industries should be taught the provisions of the Factories Act, the Arms Act and the Explosives Act as well as the social value of human life and the Societal Approach towards Safety. At present Competence management to cope up with the requirements for establishment of fireworks safety is limited to the bottom level and the middle level, whereas the initiative has to be originated from the top level management. Remoteness of the fireworks industries has played a pivotal role in preventing speedy approach by the Emergency Teams like Fire Service, Medical Service, Police Personnel, Safety Experts and the Essential Department Personnel. Moreover, considering the number of fireworks industries in and around Sivakasi Area, the catastrophic nature of the major accidents taking place in those factories and the quantum of manpower engaged in the manufacturing activities, anybody would be surprised to hear that there is no Burn Ward in the Government Hospital, Sivakasi. Hence, benchmarking with the compliance of all Statutory Regulations, worrying about the response from the other industrial sectors to find a suitable place in the Safety League and above all ethically considering the value of Human Life, every organization at whatever level it may be should come forward at this juncture to identify and establish an Action Programme for speedy and safe development of Infrastructure Project at Sivakasi in the form of either Industrial Corridor or Industrial Estate so as to set the clock back correctly. *********************** Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) has established a Fireworks Research and Development Centre (FRDC) at sivakasi. Though one of the objectives of the establishment of FRDC at Sivakasi is Testing of Raw Materials, there are fire and explosions incessantly resulting in the multiple deaths of precious manpower. Thus it is indicating that the efforts are not supportive for our objectives. PESO has developed infrastructure with dedicated Physical, Chemical, Pyro & Instrumentation Laboratories and a library, Modern Thermo Analytical Equipments, various Spectrophotometers and Sound Level Meters. But the main emphasis towards Reactive Chemistry and Controlling the Runaway Reactions are yet to find place in the objectives of the PESO. Safety and Health are the eyes of the fireworks industry and Dos and Donts of the Safe Fireworks Manufacture with correct understanding of the reactive chemicals used in the process, the compatibility of the different chemicals, runaway

reactions, spontaneous heating in certain instances of the chemical application and the control of the reaction parameters are the prime components of fireworks safety. As such appropriate measures should be oriented and incorporated in the infrastructure by the PESO. ****************************** Infrastructure to combat Reactive Chemical Hazards A Chemical Reactivity Hazard is a situation with the potential for an uncontrolled chemical reaction that can result directly or indirectly in serious harm to people, property and environment. Reactivity involves the tendency of substances to undergo chemical change; it encompasses several more specific types of hazards, such as instability and water reactivity3. For example, intrusion of water into the Methyl Isocyanate Storage Tank during the maintenance activities resulted in the catastrophic uncontrolled chemical reaction on the night of 2nd and early hours of 3rd of December 1984 at Bhopal. Reactive Chemistry is about studying materials which become chemically unstable for a variety of reasons. Intended chemical reactions are not as per our expectations and they are getting out of control all of a sudden. These spontaneous unintended chemical reactions take place due to accidental mixing of the chemicals that are normally separate. Housing two reactive chemicals that would generate toxic fumes or cause explosion when mixed within the same enclosure is an inherent safety blunder. As can be seen from the Global Reactive Chemicals Standard4, all existing chemical processes will have a Reactive Chemicals/Process Hazard Analysis Review on a predetermined periodic basis. In addition, any new plant Production Leader should review their process with the Reactive Chemical Committee within 90 days of assuming responsibility for a pilot or production plant. Prior to the review, the Leader should acquire training on the Process Chemistry as well as Reactive Chemistry and the processes that they are working with. This should include an evaluation of raw materials, Processes, products and waste to understand the potential reactive chemical hazards, if any. The preliminary screening method is based on a series of following 12 questions that are intended to help quickly decide whether chemical reactivity hazards are likely to be present at a given facility. If chemical reactivity hazards are indicated, they examined either individually or by a group. A Team Approach involving several people is typically preferred. Those involved need some basic knowledge of process chemistry to properly understand the quantum of chemicals stored/used in the industrial premises and their severity at the instances of catastrophic situation: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Is intentional chemistry performed? Is there any mixing or combining of different substances? Does any other physical processing of substances occur? Are there any hazardous substances stored or handled? Is combustion with air the only chemistry intended? Is any heat generated during mixing or physical processing of substances? Is any substance identified as spontaneously combustible? Is any substance identified as peroxide forming? Is any substance identified as water reactive?

10. Is any substance identified as oxidizer? 11. Is any substance identified as self-reactive? and 12. Can incompatible chemicals coming into contact cause undesired consequence based on the analysis?

The aforesaid Reactive Chemical Review as per the Global Reactive Chemicals Standard should be conducted on the new processes, periodically on existing processes and facilities, on changes planned for existing facilities and on changes in the supervision. The prime focus of Reactive Chemicals Review should be on the Process Chemistry including the principal reaction and expected side reactions along with their heat of reactions, exotherms, and shock sensitivity, other indication of instability and pressure buildup potential. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is a basic screening test and shall be applied to all chemicals and mixtures unless the thermal stability has been clearly established. The evaluation of thermal stability requires understanding the rate of such a reaction as a function f temperature and the heat generated per unit of material by the reaction. In many cases, if not most, information on the pressure increase during the reaction is also essential, particularly for vent sizing. Mixing Calorimetry screens the results of intentional or unintentional mixing for immediate heat or gas release. Accelerating Rate Calorimetry ((ARC) determines the self-heating rate of a chemical under near-adiabatic conditions and will usually give a conservative estimate of the conditions for, and the consequence of, a Runaway Reaction. Yet another Macro-DTA (Differential Thermal Analysis) is designed to yield information between ARC and DSC. Reaction Calorimetry consists of a jacketed reactor, addition device, and temperature transducer and calibration heaters. While each of these calorimetric devices has their unique attributes, e.g. in-situ spectrometry, quick turn-around ability to reflux, etc. will produce a signal of heat flow vs. time.

List of References: 1. U.S.: Occupational Safety and Health Administration: Hazard Communication Standard: 29 CFR: 1910.120 2. Essential practices for Managing Reactive Chemical Hazards: CCPS Publication: G-81:2003 3. Screen your facilities for Chemical Reactive Hazards: CEP Aug. 2003: Pages 50-58 4. Process Safety Services: Reactive Chemicals Program Guidelines: Se.1997 5.