csb calls for guidance
New owner for dutch fire academy
Arkema chemical plant. (Photo: CSB) The US Chemical Safety Board is calling for guidance to help chemical facilities prepare for extreme weather events as a result of its investigation into the fire at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, on 31 August 2017. Extensive flooding caused by heavy rainfall from Hurricane Harvey last year caused the Arkema plant to lose power and backup power to all its low-temperature warehouses. Workers at the facility moved organic peroxides from the warehouses to refrigerated trailers, which were then relocated to a high elevation area of the plant. Three of those trailers, however, were unable to be moved and eventually flooded and failed. With refrigeration on those trailers lost, there was nothing to stop the chemicals inside from heating up and catching fire. CSB chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland said that the investigation found that there was a significant lack of guidance in planning for flooding or other severe weather events. “Based on other government reports, we know that there is a greater likelihood of more severe weather across the country. As we prepare for this year’s hurricane season, it is critical that industry better understands the safety hazards posed by extreme weather events,” she said. The CSB is calling for more robust industry guidance to help hazardous chemical facilities better prepare for extreme weather events. The safety organisation has also published a factual update into its ongoing investigation of the January 22, 2018, blowout and fire at the Pryor Trust Gas Well located in Pittsburg County, Oklahoma, that killed five workers. The CSB has determined the incident occurred shortly after drilling crew members removed the drill pipe from the well in a process known as “tripping.” An animated timeline of the events leading up to the fatal blowout and fire is available on the CSB website. A final report, including facts, analysis, conclusions, and recommendations will be issued at the end of the investigation.
water mist talent search The International Water Mist Association has begun its search for 2019’s water mist talent. Since 2016, the International Water Mist Association has been rewarding young researchers who dedicate their master and PhD theses to water-mist technology. The prize, which is awarded once a year, includes an invitation to the annual International Water Mist Conference; a slot to present the thesis; travel and accommodation expenses; a year’s free IWMA membership; and a prize of 1,000 Euros. The deadline to hand in submissions for the 2019 prize is 30 April 2019. The IWMA Scientific Council will evaluate all entries and will announce the winner on 30 June 2019. For more information, visit www.iwma.net.
Falck Safety Services and Falck Fire Academy in the Netherlands are to be acquired by a private equity firm. An agreement has been signed by Polaris and Falck whereby Polaris will acquire 100% of the shares in Falck Safety Services Holding A/S and take over all Safety Services activities in Falck, including the Falck Fire Academy in the Netherlands. Torben Harring, who will continue as CEO of Safety Services under Polaris’ ownership, commented: “With the outlook to improve profitability significantly and with Polaris as a new strong owner prepared to fuel our growth, we can now fully focus on accelerating the transformation and development of our business. I’m looking very much forward to start collaboration with Polaris.” The acquisition is expected to be completed this month.
passive fire protection – more regulation needed The European Association for Passive Fire Protection is calling for a greater focus on competence and training for passive fire protection installers and is campaigning for mandatory requirements for both products and installers to be regulated through certification and registration schemes. During two days of discussion at the Association’s latest meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania, EAPFP members highlighted the quality of installation as a key concern, in spite of a number of initiatives under way across Europe that aim to improve installer training and qualification and encourage certification. Training programmes for passive fire protection installers are in place in the UK, Ireland, Spain and the Netherlands, while formal certification and registration schemes are being introduced in Ireland, Denmark and the Slovak Republic. New legislation is expected in Ireland and the UK, while in the Slovak Republic, a pilot project for a new national legal requirement to use approved installed fire-rated constructions is under way. In Ireland registration of all main and specialist sub-contractors, introduced by the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations in 2014, is expected to be made mandatory in coming months. And, in the UK, the Grenfell fire has resulted in long-term reviews of the whole system for specification, design, approval and installation, with an expectation that revisions to the Building Regulations may call for greater evidence of installer competence and mandatory certification of passive fire protection products and installers. For further information visit www.eapfp.com.
✜ INDUSTRIAL FIRE JOURNAL ✜ third quarter 2018 Read our e-magazine at www.hemmingfire.com