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Department of Chemical Engineering

and Energy Sustainability

Faculty of Engineering


OSHA Assignment


Bachelor of Engineering with Honours

(Chemical Engineering)
Complex Assignment
KNC 4253
Marks 10
The following paragraph describes one of the accidents happened in the past. Evaluate
the causes of accident, and recommend two (2) important actions that will reduce the
possibility of a similar accident from happening again and state the reasons.

Zoalene is one of the materials used at the Dow Chemical Company at Kings Lynn,
Norfolk. On 25 June 1976 at 3 pm, a batch of zoalene was charged to a dryer. The
steam supply to dryer was shut off at 2 pm on 26 June. The material was left in the
dryer with temperature of approximately (120 130) oC. The following day, on 27
June at 5.07 pm, the shift foreman on duty heard odd sound came from the dryer, and
immediately activated the emergency alarm. Unfortunately an explosion occurred at
5.10 pm killed one man, and caused extensive damage on the plant (Lees, 1996).

On 27 June 1976 at 5.07 pm, an explosion occurred at the Dow Chemical
Company at Kings Lynn, Norfolk. The explosion killed one man and cause extensive
damage to the plant. An investigation has been made to identify the causes of the
explosion. The explosion involved a detonation of Zoalene. Zoalene is a poultry feed
additive that used at the Dow Chemical Company. After the drying process had been
completed, the Zoalene had been left inside a closed dryer vessel for a period of twenty-
seven hours. The insulation of the dryer maintained the Zoalene at a temperature
between (120-130)C. The Zoalene began to decompose under that condition. The
evolution of heat causing self-accelerating decomposition of Zoalene which led to
detonation. It appears that materials could have been left in dryer for twenty four hours
and more before being transfer to the holding hopper. The Clopidol plant that use to dry
the Zoalene is been fitted with dust explosion suppression equipment. When it comes
to Zoalene processing, it show that an appreciable leakage of dust which necessitated
fitting exhaust ventilation to the elevator and hopper. It was discover that the stock of
Zoalene were low in infrared assay, being only 96-98 percent of purity. The minimum
standard for purity that has been demanded is 98 percent which doesnt followed by the

company. The low assay maybe caused by the presence of impurities. This factor may
disturbed the drying process involving the Zoalene that can cause accident. Some of
action should be taken to prevent this accident from occur again. The company should
conduct a training in handling hazardous and explosive chemical to their employee.
This is to reduce the risk of accident during the process that involve the chemical and
the increase the awareness of the employee on the safety when handling hazardous
chemical. The company should also hire a safety officer to monitoring changes in plant
processes. The safety officer can make a good decision whether the process or the
chemical are safe to use. The company should also improve the safety and emergency
response in their plant. This can help them to prepare themselves if any accident occur.
The company should do risk and hazard assessment before conducting a process. This
method can help them to identify any possible hazard that can cause by the operation
or process and some control measure can be taken to avoid the accident.