One should perfectly realize the fact that the industrial advance we have today is a two-edged sword that could be very useful and dangerous at the same time. The fact is that the tendency towards the increased complexity of manufacturing processes and the use of hazardous materials to produce a certain product could result in unpredicted consequences. The modern chemical industry could be taken as a great example to this statement.
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There are numerous accidents at factories and plants. Besides, the explosion at Concept Sciences could be considered the event of this sort. For this reason, its investigation could contribute to the improved comprehending of the issue and might help to minimize the risk of new emergencies of this sort.
The explosion at Concept Sciences happened on February 19, 1999. A process vessel that contained hundreds of pounds of hydroxylamine exploded at the same time in Allentown, Pennsylvania. In the course of the investigation, specialists determined that the HA in the process tank was explosively decomposed (“The explosion at Concept Sciences,” 2002). One of the main cases for this process was the concentration of the substance and high temperature that triggered the reaction.
The explosion was extremely powerful and caused serious damage to the area. The worst thing was that four CSI employees and one manager were killed in the accident. Two people were injured seriously and four other individuals acquired moderate traumas (Waldman, 1999). Finally, due to the extreme power of the explosion, numerous facilities that in the area were also damaged.
The given accident became a unique event that attracted attention to the great danger that comes from the chemical industry. For this reason, there were numerous attempts to investigate it and outline clear causes that resulted in the appearance of the given complex situation. Besides, there are several causal factors. First of all, the high temperature could be considered one of the main aspects that resulted in the appearance of the emergent situation.
Moreover, HA crystals and solutions could explosively decompose at high concentrations (“The explosion at Concept Sciences,” 2002). It means that this could also serve as one of the main causal factors preceding the explosion and triggering the chemical reaction. High concentration of these elements along with heating resulted in increased speeds of decomposition and serious damage.
In this regard, the investigation of the given case could help to understand the unique importance of safety information and the impact it might have on the preservation of the appropriate security level. One should realize the fact that if workers had known the information about the great danger of high concentrations of HA crystals, the explosion would have been avoided (Long, 2004). Moreover, the high temperature that was observed during the process also became a crucial factor. In this regard, the adequate information about the appropriate security measures could help to eliminate the potential threat and avoid losses.
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Altogether, to improve the process safety management, it is crucial to provide workers with the most relevant and appropriate information about chemical changes and alterations of the state of materials related to these. Only under these conditions emergencies could be avoided. Finally, it is also curial to introduce the constant monitoring system that will be able to trace the alterations in the state of the most hazardous materials and signalize in case some threatening states are observed.
Long, L. (2004). The explosion at Concept Sciences: Hazards of hydroxylamine. Process Safety Progress, 23(2), 114-120. Web.
Waldman, A. (1999). Five are killed in explosion in Pennsylvania. The New York Times. Web.