Articles

When Running People Past Their Breaking Point Effects Safety: The Bayer Crop Science Incident

One element that figured prominently in the 2008 explosion at the Bayer Crop Science facility in Institute, West Virginia, was a lack of operator training for the new DCS that had just been installed at the methomyl production unit. While this was undoubtedly …

When Operators Run without Training: The Bayer Crop Science Incident

Prior to the 2008 incident, the methomyl unit at the Institute facility had been shut down for two major equipment upgrades: the DCS had been replaced and the old carbon steel residue treater vessel had been replaced with a new stainless steel pressure vessel.…

When Equipment Problems Share the Blame: The Bayer Crop Science Incident

Equipment Problems Share the Blame Bayer Crop Sciences Poses Equipment Problems Share the Blameacceptable levels. When the two operators who were killed went to the vessel, the expected to find this vent was simply blocked and were going to clear it. These …

Under Pressure to Start Production: The Bayer Crop Science Incident

Bayer Crop Science company procedures called for a PSSR (pre-startup safety review) to be run for the methomyl unit before it was restarted. This was a complex process that was supposed to prove that all the equipment and safety devices were in order, allowing…

Pushing Process Beyond Personnel: The Bayer Crop Science Incident

History has shown that industrial disasters are rarely the result of some single failure in a plant environment that is otherwise carefully operated and scrupulously maintained. In most situations, an incident, large or small, is the logical and inevitable res…

The Inevitable Cost of an Incident: BP Texas City Refinery

On March 23, 2005 at the Texas City refinery, a geyser of flammable hydrocarbon liquid and vapor erupted from a blowdown stack, which ignited creating a huge fire. The result: 15 fatalities and 180 injuries. All the individuals who died were in or around a gro…

How Mechanical Failures and Procedure Misunderstandings: BP Texas City Refinery

On March 23, 2005, the raffinate splitter process was being restarted after a turndown. The unit had been shut down February 21 so that the tower could be drained, purged, and steam cleaned to remove residues. Apparently nothing had been done to check level se…

Focusing on the Wrong Safety Metrics: BP Texas City Refinery

When the corporate culture ignores safety, what do you think about going to work each day? Looking at the 2005 Texas City refinery fire with the benefit of nearly 10 years of reflection and much discussion of what was going on at the facility, it is difficult …

A Maintenance Process Hazard Analysis: Piper Alpha Incident

Among the physical causes of the initial process safety incident, maintenance should be at the top of the list. That basic safety management failure struck the first match.

A Process Hazard Analysis of the Human Factor: Piper Alpha Incident

Operator and supervisor errors escalated a process safety incident into a disaster. Could people better trained in oil and gas safety procedures have prevented it, or stopped the process safety incident once the fire stated?
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