Case Study Of The Philips Disaster Of 1989

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The Philips disaster of 1989 was a devastating series of explosion that caused irreversible damages. Today itself we still don’t know if this explosion is the result of mistakes done by the workers of if it is due to mechanical problems. On the other side several failures have been noticed which have contributed to such a disaster. Information was gathered from witnesses who indicate that during the course of the event they saw a vapour cloud. This vapour cloud was due to the 10 inch high pressure which was carrying ethylene and isobutene. While doing the maintenance a valve was kept open accidentally. This eventually caused the release of extremely flammable gases into the environment. More than 85,000 pounds is said to have been released. This eventually emitted the flammable vapour cloud which developed very quickly into the hostile environment After the explosion the OSHA conducted an investigation so as to identify the causes of this explosion. This has revealed that while conducting audits in the company, consultants found that unsafe work conditions were being practised. Even though unsafe conditions were being practised at work they ignored them and thus resulting from the explosions. OSHA findings are as follows: • There was a lack of process hazard analysis on the polyethylene plant. To prevent this explosion safety issues should have been followed. In this case the Company’s safety procedures were not followed. • Non fail safe block valve The valve on the

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