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Through the OSHA and Process Safety Alliance, the Process Safety signatories developed this Best Practice Guide for informational purposes only. It does not necessarily reflect the official views of OSHA or the US Dept. of Labor. 08/2009
. however. The user of this document accepts any legal liability or responsibility whatsoever for the consequence of its use or misuse. the correctness or accuracy of the content of the information presented in this document.It is sincerely hoped that the information presented in this document will lead to an even more impressive safety record for the entire industry. expressly or by implication. none of the members of the OSHA and Process Safety Alliance warrant or represent.
Protecting the Process from Vehicular Impact. Operators immediately began to shut the plant down and attempted to isolate the leak. closed valves.4 m). (1. the advancing vapor cloud forced them to retreat. Piping systems should be laid out such that the likelihood of them being impacted by vehicular traffic is minimized. (3m). The extensive damage shut down Olefins ll unit for 5 months. The explosion knocked down several operators and burned two others exiting the unit. o Providing spacing from piping to the edge of a plant access way – 5 ft. USA. o Providing spacing from piping to the edge of a secondary plant road – 10 ft. Formosa initiated a site wide evacuation. At the same time. Immediately after the release. control room operators shut off pumps. impact protection and administrative controls. TX. forming a large flammable vapor cloud that subsequently ignited. The process should be protected from impact by vehicular traffic by location/spacing. the vapor ignited creating an explosion. one seriously. A total of sixteen employees were injured.Preventing Process Incidents Caused by Vehicular Impact Incident Description A hydrocarbon release and subsequent fire and explosions occurred at the Olefins ll unit at the Formosa Plastics Corporation. . They tried to reach and close manual valves that could stop the release.5 m). however. Port Comfort. A trailer being towed by a fork lift snagged and pulled a small drain valve out of a strainer in a liquid propylene system. and vented equipment to the flare stack to direct flammables gases away from the fire. Recommendations to accomplish this include: o Providing spacing from piping to the edge of a major plant road – 15 ft. All three approaches should be considered to adequately protect the process from vehicular damage. one seriously. office buildings and parking lots should be located away from hazardous process areas. Because of the size of the fire. high traffic areas such as tank car loading and unloading facilities. Location/Spacing When designing new plants or modifying existing plants. complex.  Lesson Learned: The need for guidance on protecting chemical processes from vehicular impact damage is clear. (4. Flames from the fire reached more than 500 feet in the air.
– 5 ft. Impact barriers (pipes) should be installed to protect fire protection systems. Training would emphasize the need to be aware of process equipment when driving in the plant and to be aware of process areas where vehicular traffic is prohibited. compressors.  To design the proper impact barrier. For example. the nipple that was impacted was next to a vacant lot reserved for future expansion. liquefied petroleum tanks and other process equipment containing hazardous chemicals. Safe work permits should be required for operating vehicles in the process area. This can be accomplished with individual bollards or bollards of equal size tied together. The training required for operating specialized equipment and vehicles should emphasize the need to be aware of equipment containing hazardous materials when operating the vehicles in process areas. Such barriers should be designed specifically for vehicular impact. g. but they rely on human performance that can be unreliable compared to other types of safeguards. consider the possibility for impact by vehicles and other equipment in the structural design. One design calls for 6 inch diameter schedule 40 pipe set in concrete and filled with concrete that can be slipped into a “socket” pipe of slightly larger diameter that is set in concrete in the ground.  Impact Protection When designing new equipment and piping systems. For example.  Such areas should have signs that are clearly visible at the perimeter of the restricted process areas. Administrative controls can help guide human behavior. some companies require process lines to be a minimum of 1 inch schedule 40 for robustness. o Design an array of bollards and concrete anchors that will absorb the energy of the collision. cranes. Some examples of administrative controls that can be used to help protect the process from vehicular impact are listed below: Vehicular traffic should be appropriately restricted from areas where pedestrians could be injured or equipment damaged. crane. back hoes. . The area was not intended to have vehicular traffic.5 m). because of the vulnerability of smaller line sizes to be damaged by mechanical impact. heat exchanger bundles.  Administrative Controls Administrative controls to prevent vehicular impact damage to chemical process equipment are important. permits should be required to operate fork lifts.  o Locating pipelines carrying flammable (hazardous) fluid underground. Safe driving permits should be required for in plant driving. (1. e.o Providing spacing from piping to the edge of the path provided for either access to equipment for maintenance. or to facilitate the removal of such equipment for maintenance.. o Pick the highest expected velocity. pumps. etc). large motors. In this incident. fork trucks and other specialized vehicles. the following design approach is suggested: o Pick the largest expected mass to hit the equipment (truck.
John Baik of BP. Kelley Keim of Exxon Mobil Chemical Company. Stan Grossell of Process Safety and Design. Kathy Kas of Rohm and Haas. June 2006. Report No.References       “Fire at Formosa Plastics Corporation: Evaluating Process Hazards. Communication from a company not identified. “Guidelines for Engineering Design for Process Safety. CCPS. and the OSHA and Process Safety Alliance for providing input and peer review guidance. We are also grateful to Tim Wagner and Jim Verboon of the Dow Chemical Company. . Henry Febo of Factory Mutual. Communication from a company not identified Communication from a company not identified Guidelines for Hazard Evaluation. CCPS 1993. 2006-01-I-TX.” page 184.” U. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. 2nd Edition.” p 404. S. 1992 Acknowledgements CCPS wishes to thank John Murphy for authoring this document.
org/ccps ccps@aiche. with over 60 guideline and resource books in print. water contamination of a tank of methyl isocyanate in Bhopal. and an evergrowing web knowledge base. CCPS membership now exceeds 100 companies. In February of 1985. In the years that followed. 1985.aiche. India initiated a series of events that led to a catastrophic toxic release.org or +1. 1984. leaders from 17 of the leading chemical and petroleum companies asked the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) to lead a collaborative global effort to eliminate catastrophic process incidents by: ADVANCING state-of-the-art process safety technology and management practices SERVING as a premier resource for information on process safety FOSTERING process safety in engineering and science education PROMOTING process safety as a key industry value On March 25.646-495-1371 . killing more than 3000 residents and injuring over 100.000. AIChE formed the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) with 17 charter member companies. headquartered in more than 15 countries in four continents and operating in every part of the world. CCPS is on the Web at Contact CCPS http://www.About CCPS Just after midnight on December 3. CCPS has been the world leader in every area of process safety information.
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