Sunday, August 16, 2015

Tianjin Explosion

At first glance of the picture posted on the internet, its looks like something out of a science fiction story. The destruction is massive. After that, the first thing that come to my mind: chemical storage safety.

The accident location is at a chemical storage depot where imported chemicals are temporary stored before they are transported or distributed through the region. From the scale of the explosion and destroyed vehicle, one can expect the massive volume of chemicals stored. Death toll reach 112 with 90 still missing as of this posting today. With 700 reported injuries, damage of property, disruption of operation, law suit from the victim's family....the story will never end.

At Malaysia, under OSHA Control of Industrial Major Accident Hazards (CIMAH) Regulation 1994 enforce the requirement for such storage facilities. CIMAH regulation enforce the registration of competent person, demonstration of safe operation, emergency plan, threshold quantity of stored substance etc. Even in the case if your facilities or factory does not store above the threshold quantity, proper safe storage practice should be implemented. Chemicals compatibility and storage ventilation are two areas that should be look into. Flammable and oxidizer chemical should not be stored together because their fumes can react with each other to cause fire or explosion. Storage should be separate using barrier or distance between each other. The ventilation should be adequate to remove contaminated air from accumulating in the storage area. A wall or ceiling exhaust ventilation should be installed in place.

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