Potential Hazardous Consequences | AIChE

Potential Hazardous Consequences

Equipment Identification - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health)

  • Improper tagging  or identification of equipment or piping may lead to release of hazardous material resulting in personnel exposure to fire and explosion, radiation or toxic vapors.
 

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion)

  • A release and subsequent fire of hazardous material resulting from opening the wrong fitting or equipment due to improper tagging of equipment.
  • Connections resulting in release of hazardous material release due to
    • Incompatible materials mixing and reacting resulting in a release of energy
    • Material being fed into equipment made of incompatible Material of Construction
 

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (On-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities should also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from opening the wrong fitting or equipment.
  • Personnel injuries due the release of flammable, combustible vapors, or toxic materials due to products of combustion resulting from related releases or fires.
  • Personal injuries due to fire escalation or explosions resulting from related releases or fires.
 

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (Off-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities should also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring off-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from opening the wrong fitting or equipment.
  • Personnel injuries due the release of flammable, combustible vapors, or toxic materials due to products of combustion resulting from related releases or fires.
  • Personal injuries due to fire escalation or explosions resulting from related releases or fires.

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Scaffolding - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Property Damage (Scaffolding Collapse)

  • Common construction accidents involving scaffolding usually include either scaffold collapse and/or falling objects from the scaffold itself. Usually workers on the scaffold are utilizing some type of equipment while on the scaffold, such as paint and related supplies, tools such as hammers, screw drivers or drills, as well as window cleaning equipment. In addition to the workers on the collapsed scaffold being injured, those on the ground working or walking by may be seriously injured by the falling scaffold itself, of by other falling objects. Causes of scaffold construction accidents vary but may include:

o       Unsecure scaffolding

o       Poor or careless construction

o       Use of poor quality of damaged material

o       Missing or malfunctioning brakes

o       Missing or malfunctioning fall safety systems

o       Insufficient maintenance of scaffold

o       Lack of or poorly conducted safety inspections

  • Severe weather conditions may also cause scaffold accidents. When safety precautions are not followed and workers utilize scaffolding in inclement weather, such as precipitation and/or high winds, unsafe conditions develop and include slippery surfaces and the possible “blowing off” of equipment.
  • Financial cost incurred in replacing the scaffold, lost time on the work being performed and repairing damage to facilities or equipment below or attached.

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health)

Workers on the collapsed scaffold being injured, those on the ground working or walking by may be seriously injured by the falling scaffold itself, of by other falling objects

Environmental Impact

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water from equipment contained on the scaffold, thinners, paint, toxic chemicals, etc.
  • Personnel injuries due the release of toxic materials. 
 
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Excavation - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion) – While performing Hot Work in an Excavation

  • Creating an ignition source (flame, heat, sparks, non-intrinsically safe equipment, molten metal or direct flames) in a combustible atmosphere (flammable materials/vapors) leading to fire or explosion.
  • Impinging heat to surrounding process equipment, causing possible thermal expansion resulting in the release of hydrocarbons,
  • Arc from welding, possibly setting off fire detection / mitigation systems (i.e., deluge systems, alarms resulting in possible unit shut downs, etc.)
  • Interference with other simultaneous work in close proximity (e.g., work involving breaking containment and potential release of combustible gases while hot work is present.)
  • Hazards associated with welding equipment:
    • Damage and defective parts, if not replaced prior to start of the job
    • Improper grounding
    • Oxy-fuel equipment
      • If oxy-acetylene cylinders do not have sufficient material in the cylinders prior to start of the job, backflow can happen if one cylinder goes empty during operation which can cause:
        • A system pressure imbalance.
        • Mixing of oxy and fuel inside the hose.
      • Flashback caused by reverse flow of gas through the torch and back through to the hose, regulator and/or cylinder, potentially causing an explosion
  • Fire or explosion caused by ignition of flammable/combustible vapors/materials present in the excavation.
 

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health)

  • Excavation cave-ins leading to entrapment and potential suffocation.
  • Falling into excavations leading to injury of death.
 
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Field Review of Permits - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion) – Depending upon the activity being performed

  • A release of energy resulting from opening the wrong equipment due to improper inspection of work site, resulting in damage to the assets.
  • Fire and explosion due to hydrocarbon leakage from the equipment around job location.
  • Contamination of product tanks resulting in corrosion of tank, loss of product, and reprocessing costs.
  • Poor dispersion of hydrocarbon due to barricading of work area for carrying out construction activities leading to pool formation having potential for explosion.
  • Incorrect/inadequate supporting hydrocarbon pipeline during maintenance leading to release of hazardous material with potential of catastrophic failure.
  • Deep excavation, damaging cross country pipelines leading to release of hydrocarbon
  • Vapor cloud explosion and resulting fire.
 

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health) – Depending upon the activity being performed

  • Improper identification of presence of hazardous material resulting in personnel exposure to radiation or toxic materials resulting in injuries or fatalities
  • Not identifying the requirement of special personnel protective equipment (PPE) as required for the job.
  • Not identifying location specific hazards and controls
  • Not identifying hazards presents at workplace due to inherent design (e.g., limited escape route, poor access to the equipment under maintenance).
  • Not identifying hazards due to temporary modification/construction activities (e.g., protruding scaffolding pipes, threat of falling objects, poor illumination due to barricading).
  • Opening of standby equipment resulting in exposure to toxic chemicals leading to injury or fatality.
  • Break into wrong pipeline containing toxic chemicals.
  • Use of contaminated hoses for draining, flushing or purging.
  • Contamination of utility water line with caustic line due to wrong connection of pipeline
  • Contamination of  product tanks due to unloading of wrong material into tank, releasing toxic vapors
 

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Equipment Filling and Mixing - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion)

  • Contact of incompatible chemicals may lead to uncontrolled reactions, leading to rupture of the vessel or piping system resulting in fire and explosions.
  • Damage to assets
  • Damage to buildings/houses in nearby community
 

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health)

  • Fatal injury due to exposure to toxic fumes from mixing of wrong chemicals
  • Fatal injury due to explosion from reaction of wrong chemicals
  • Nausea and lightheadedness due to inhalation of fumes
  • Vomiting, headache and high blood pressure
 

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (On-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Evacuation of onsite population to outside of facility
  • Evacuation of personnel into Safe havens
  • Declaration of Site Level Emergency
 

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (Off-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Extensive air pollution
  • Breathing difficulties in general public
  • Shelter-in-place in nearby community



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Hot Tapping - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Potential Hazardous Consequences

 

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion)

  • Creating an ignition source (flame, heat, sparks, non-intrinsically safe equipment, molten metal or direct flames) in a combustible atmosphere (flammable materials/vapors) leading to fire or explosion.
    • Caution must be taken when working near openings or cracks in walls, flooring, open doorways and windows.
  • Impinging heat to surrounding process equipment, causing possible thermal expansion resulting in the release of hydrocarbons,
  • Arc from welding, possibly setting off fire detection / mitigation systems (i.e., deluge systems, alarms resulting in possible unit shut downs, etc.)
  • Interference with other simultaneous work in close proximity (e.g., work involving breaking containment and potential release of combustible gases while hot work is present.)
  • Hazards associated with hot tap equipment:
    • Damage and defective parts, if not replaced prior to start of the job
    • Improper grounding
    • Oxy-fuel equipment
      • If oxy-acetylene cylinders do not have sufficient material in the cylinders prior to start of the job, backflow can happen if one cylinder goes empty during operation which can cause:
        • A system pressure imbalance.
        • Mixing of oxy and fuel inside the hose.
      • Flashback caused by reverse flow of gas through the torch and back through to the hose, regulator and/or cylinder, potentially causing an explosion
  • Fire or explosion caused by ignition of flammable/combustible vapors/materials present in processing equipment such as tanks, vessels and piping, etc., that have void spaces or liners (i.e., double-walled tanks and piping, double-bottom tanks)
 

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health)

  • Hot work presents direct personnel hazards to those involved in the task, or working nearby.
    • Skin/eye burns and electric shock are potential direct hazards.  A hot surface or a spark can burn skin, either by contact or from radiated heat. The eyes are particularly sensitive to burning, including that from light radiation - “arc eye”.
    • Potential of personnel overexposure to welding or flame cutting fumes, especially:
      • If ventilation is inadequate.
      • Inappropriate or insufficient PPE.
    • Injuries from sparks, etc., to personnel working in the area or passing nearby (or at a lower level below the work) may occur if the area is not properly isolated or access is restricted and there is no additional protection such as a fire blanket.
      • While the direct hazards of hot work are important, the risks from fires and explosions are typically more significant, especially in operational areas.
 

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (On-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

 
  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from hot work-related fires, explosions, equipment damage, etc.
  • Personnel injuries due the release of flammable, combustible vapors, or toxic materials due to products of combustion resulting from hot work-related fires.
  • Personal injuries due to fire escalation or explosions resulting from hot work-related fires.
 

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (Off-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from hot work-related fires, explosions, equipment damage, etc.
  • Personnel injuries due the release of flammable, combustible vapors, or toxic materials due to products of combustion resulting from hot work-related fires.
  • Personal injuries due to fire escalation or explosions resulting from hot work-related fires.





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Temporary Instrumentation and Controls Bypass - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Each instrumented safeguard exists for a reason, protecting against some hazard to personnel, the environment, or to assets.  The potential consequence of improper bypassing or jumpering of safeguards is the occurrence of the very hazard the safeguard was there to prevent or miti-gate.  These hazards typically include fires, explosions, catastrophic overpressure events, toxic releases, or exposure to personnel to hazards inherent to the process equipment.

Some things to consider:

  • Most instruments and controls were installed for a reason, are you able to confirm the reason for the device that you are considering to bypass?
  • What does your process safety information (PSI) say?  Have you referred to interlock specification sheet, Process Hazard Assessment (PHA), etc. to verify the purpose for the device that you are considering to bypass?
  • Don’t forget, bypassing a device is a change to your process safety information PSI.  Therefore, have you captured the bypass in your MOC program like you would any other process change?
  • Recognize that many devices may be identified in your PHA as a safeguard to manage/mitigate risk.  Therefore, bypassing is such a device is essentially elevating risk.  Are you authorized to bypass the device and increase risk?
  • Does your authorization process define a specific communication/approval protocol required/developed to ensure safe review, design/implementation of interim measures, etc.?
  • There may not be a direct pathway from the bypassing of a device to an incident.  In some instances, even if it is bypassed, you may not even see an event.   How are you preventing normalization of deviation associated with this phenomenon (i.e., it hasn’t happened before)?
  • Be aware that such bypassing without consequences could lead to a false sense of security with operating and maintenance personnel (i.e., it hasn’t happened before)?

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion)

  • A release of hazardous material resulting from bypassing or jumpering an instrument or control device can cause property damage if released materials are flammable.  Depending on the surrounding area, the released material may find an ignition source and cause a fire or an explosion. 

Personal Injury (Safety/Human Health)

  • Bypassing or jumpering an instrument or control device, if not done properly, can lead to release of hazardous materials and personnel exposure with serious injuries or fatalities
    • Exposure to corrosive materials (i.e. acids or caustic) causing chemical burns
    • Exposure to toxic materials (i.e. benzene, hydrogen sulfide, phenol)
    • Exposure to hot materials (i.e. steam) causing thermal burns
    • Release of material under pressure causing an injury
  • If these materials are flammable the release may find an ignition source leading to a fire or an explosion.

Chemical Release/Environmental Release (On-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escaltion that could result in environmental damamge or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from line or equipment opening hazardous material releases
  • Personnel injuries outside of the immediate area due the release of toxic materials from line or equipment opening activities
  • Personal injuries outside of the immediate area due to fire or explosions resulting from possible ignition of flammable materials released during line or equipment opening.

Chemical Release/Environmental Release (Off-Site) 

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escaltion that could result in environmental damamge or additional personal injuries occurring off-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from line or equipment opening hazardous material releases
  • Personnel injuries outside of the plant boundaries due the release of toxic materials from line or equipment opening activities
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Confined Space Entry - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Potential Hazardous Consequences

 

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion)

  • A release of hazardous material during a confined space entry can be caused by improper cleaning of scale in the equipment and hazardous material being trapped or improperly isolated equipment.  Property damage can happen if released materials are flammable and ignition sources are available during the confined space entry. 
 

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health)

  • Confined Space Entry, if not done properly, can lead to release of hazardous materials and personnel exposure with serious injuries or fatalities
    • Exposure to corrosive materials (i.e. acids or caustic) causing chemical burns
    • Exposure to toxic materials (i.e. benzene, hydrogen sulfide, phenol)
    • Exposure to hot materials (i.e. steam) causing thermal burns
    • Release of material under pressure causing an injury
    • Exposure to oxygen deficient atmosphere
    • Engulfment by solids during confined space entry into pits etc.
    • Exposure to radiation from instrumentation (i.e. level transmitters)
    • Fall injuries inside confined space
  • If these materials are flammable, the release may find an ignition source leading to a fire or an explosion.
 

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (On-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases of hazardous materials to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from improper isolation during confined space entry
  • Personnel injuries due the release of toxic materials resulting from improper isolation during confined space entry activities
  • Personal injuries due to fire or explosions resulting from possible ignition of flammable materials released from improper isolation during confined space entry
 

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (Off-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring off-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases of hazardous materials to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from improper isolation during confined space entry
  • Personnel injuries due the release of toxic materials resulting from improper isolation during confined space entry activities
  • Personal injuries due to fire or explosions resulting from possible ignition of flammable materials released from improper isolation during confined space entry
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Hot Work - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion)

  • Creating an ignition source (flame, heat, sparks, non-intrinsically safe equipment, molten metal or direct flames) in a combustible atmosphere (flammable materials/vapors) leading to fire or explosion.
    • Caution must be taken when working near openings or cracks in walls, flooring, open doorways and windows.
  • Impinging heat to surrounding process equipment, causing possible thermal expansion re-sulting in the release of hydrocarbons,
  • Arc from welding, possibly setting off fire detection / mitigation systems (i.e., deluge sys-tems, alarms resulting in possible unit shut downs, etc.)
  • Interference with other simultaneous work in close proximity (e.g., work involving breaking containment and potential release of combustible gases while hot work is present.)
  • Hazards associated with welding equipment:
    • Damage and defective parts, if not replaced prior to start of the job
    • Improper grounding
    • Oxy-fuel equipment
      • If oxy-acetylene cylinders do not have sufficient material in the cylinders pri-or to start of the job, backflow can happen if one cylinder goes empty during operation which can cause:
        • A system pressure imbalance.
        • Mixing of oxy and fuel inside the hose.

  • Flashback caused by reverse flow of gas through the torch and back through to the hose, regulator and/or cylinder, potentially causing an explosion
  • Fire or explosion caused by ignition of flammable/combustible vapors/materials present in processing equipment such as tanks, vessels and piping, etc., that have void spaces or liners (i.e., double-walled tanks and piping, double-bottom tanks)

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health)

Hot work presents direct personnel hazards to those involved in the task, or working nearby.

  • Skin/eye burns and electric shock are potential direct hazards.  A hot surface or a spark can burn skin, either by contact or from radiated heat. The eyes are particular-ly sensitive to burning, including that from light radiation - “arc eye”.
  • Potential of personnel overexposure to welding or flame cutting fumes, especially:
    • If ventilation is inadequate.
    • Inappropriate or insufficient PPE.

  • Injuries from sparks, etc., to personnel working in the area or passing nearby (or at a lower level below the work) may occur if the area is not properly isolated or access is restricted and there is no additional protection such as a fire blanket.
    • While the direct hazards of hot work are important, the risks from fires and explosions are typically more significant, especially in operational areas.

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (On-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from hot work related fires, explosions, equipment damage, etc.
  • Personnel injuries due the release of flammable, combustible vapors, or toxic materials due to products of combustion resulting from hot work related fires.
  • Personal injuries due to fire escalation or explosions resulting from hot work related fires.

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (Off-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from hot work related fires, explosions, equipment damage, etc.
  • Personnel injuries due the release of flammable, combustible vapors, or toxic materials due to products of combustion resulting from hot work related fires.
  • Personal injuries due to fire escalation or explosions resulting from hot work related fires.
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Energy Isolation - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion)

  • A release of hazardous material during a task requiring Lock-Out/Tag-Out can cause property damage if released materials are flammable.  Depending on the surrounding area, the released material may find an ignition source and cause a fire or an explosion.  A release can happen if the equipment being worked on is not isolated properly and chemical energy is released unexpectedly.

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health)

  • Lock-Out/Tag-Out if not done properly, can lead to release of hazardous materials (chemical and thermal energy) and personnel exposure with serious injuries or fatalities
    • Exposure to corrosive materials (i.e., acids or caustic) causing chemical burns
    • Exposure to toxic materials (i.e., benzene, hydrogen sulfide, phenol)
    • Exposure to hot materials (i.e., steam) causing thermal burns
    • Release of material under pressure causing an injury
  • If these materials are flammable the release may find an ignition source leading to a fire or an explosion.
  • Personnel can also sustain serious injury or fatality due to being struck by moving equipment or being caught in moving equipment that is not properly de-energized.
    • Amputation from rotating equipment such as star valves
    • Fatalities due to being caught in hydraulically operated filter presses or packaging equipment
    • Serious injuries from being caught in screw conveyors
    • Serious injuries or fatalities due to working on improperly de-energized electrical equipment
    • Serious injuries or fatalities when working on equipment that may have stored potential energy that was not addressed such as open casting molds

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (On-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from work activities where lines or equipment were not properly isolated (locked-out/tagged-out).
  • Personnel injuries due the release of toxic materials from work activities where lines or equipment were not properly isolated (locked-out/tagged-out).
  • Personal injuries due to fire or explosions resulting from possible ignition of flammable materials released during work activities where lines or equipment were not properly isolated (locked-out/tagged-out).

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (Off-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring off-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from work activities where lines or equipment were not properly isolated (locked-out/tagged-out).
  • Personnel injuries due the release of toxic materials from work activities where lines or equipment were not properly isolated (locked-out/tagged-out).
  • Personal injuries due to fire or explosions resulting from possible ignition of flammable materials released during work activities where lines or equipment were not properly isolated (locked-out/tagged-out).


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Line Opening - Potential Hazardous Consequences

Property Damage (Fire / Explosion)

  • A release of hazardous material during a line or equipment opening can cause property damage if released materials are flammable.  Depending on the surrounding area, the released material may find an ignition source and cause a fire or an explosion. 

Personal Injury (Safety / Human Health)

  • Line or Equipment Opening, if not done properly, can lead to release of hazardous materials and personnel exposure with serious injuries or fatalities
  • Exposure to corrosive materials (i.e. acids or caustic) causing chemical burns
    • Exposure to toxic materials (i.e. benzene, hydrogen sulfide, phenol)
    • Exposure to hot materials (i.e. steam) causing thermal burns
    • Release of material under pressure causing an injury
  • If these materials are flammable the release may find an ignition source leading to a fire or an explosion.

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (On-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring on-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from line or equipment opening hazardous material releases
  • Personnel injuries outside of the immediate area due the release of toxic materials from line or equipment opening activities
  • Personal injuries outside of the immediate area due to fire or explosions resulting from possible ignition of flammable materials released during line or equipment opening.

Chemical Release / Environmental Impact (Off-Site)

In addition to the Property Damage and Personal Injury consequences stated above, facilities must also consider the potential for escalation that could result in environmental damage or additional personal injuries occurring off-site.

  • Environmental damage due to releases to the air, soil, or bodies of water resulting from line or equipment opening hazardous material releases
  • Personnel injuries outside of the plant boundaries due the release of toxic materials from line or equipment opening activities
  • Personal injuries outside of the plant boundaries due to fire or explosions resulting from possible ignition of flammable materials released during line or equipment opening.
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