Incident alert

LOCATION:
ASPHALT/COATING PLANT
ACTIVITY:
PRODUCTION AND PROCESSING
SUB ACTIVITY:
ASPHALT & COATED STONE
ALERT STATUS:
Normal
DATE ISSUED:
28/07/2006
INCIDENT No:
00109

TITLE
Bitumen heater incident
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
United Kingdom
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT DETAILS
A faulty heating element on a bitumen tank allowed a small amount of bitumen to become excessively overheated. This overheating may have allowed the Bitumen to break down into flammable gases such as Propane or Butane.

The control panel was sited above the heating elements and was connected by conduit. The complete system was sealed which prevented any gases that could build up from being naturally vented.

When the isolator on the control panel was manually operated an arcing of the contactors caused an ignition source for the gases resulting in a small explosion forcing the cabinet doors of the control panel to open which pushed against the operator causing him to fall over.
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT IMAGES
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Click image to enlarge

LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS TAKEN
If in doubt all isolation must be carried out remotely.

Inspection of all heating elements on bitumen tanks to be added to the plant PPM system.

Conduit and pipe work from the heating elements to control panels to be sealed to prevent combination of arcing and fumes to be present in the same compartments.

All leaking elements to be sealed.
All suspect tanks to be reported to safety department to allow information to be collated for the RBA

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LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS IMAGES




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