551493 Major Explosion at a Chemical Company in China: The Causes and Lessons Learned

Wednesday, April 3, 2019: 2:15 PM
Grand Ballroom CD (Hilton New Orleans Riverside)
Wei Wang1, Yi Liu2, Dongfeng Zhao3, Yanchun Wang2, Jian Chen2 and Hanhai Dong2, (1)Center for Safety, Environmental, and Energy Conservation Technology, China University of Petroleum (East China, Qingdao, China, (2)Center for Safety, Environmental, and Energy Conservation Technology, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao, China, (3)College of Chemical Engineering, China University of Petroleum(East China), Qingdao, China

Abstract On July 12, 2018, a devastating explosion accident occurred in Yibin City Hengda Technology Co., Ltd. in Sichuan Province, resulting in 19 deaths and 12 injuries, and impacting an area of about 1,800 square meters. It was a disastrous explosion occurred in a chemical plant in China in the past five years, which was caused by violation of laws and regulations. The accident reflects the general deficiencies of process safety management in the small and median-scale companies. Therefore, it is significant to analyze the causes of the accident and put forward countermeasures to avoid such kind of accidents. According to the characteristics of complexity, diversity and uncertainty about the influencing factors of the explosion, this paper presents a systematic analysis from qualitative and quantitative perspectives. The fishbone diagram model was used to identify influence factors from six aspects of people, design, management, environment, emergency measures, and materials. Furthermore, an assessment index including 24 factors was determined. The analytic hierarchy process method was used to analyze the importance degree of each factor quantitatively, and the key factors leading to the accident were obtained. The results show that the sum of weights of three main aspects, including people, design, and emergency measures is nearly up to 0.7, so they are the dominant cause leading to this accident. Lack of chemical industry experience, non-standard process design, and incomplete automatic control system are the focus of prevention among 24 factors. Process safety management is the application of management systems to the identification, understanding, and control of process hazards for the prevention of major incidents. This analysis considered process hazard analysis, pre-production safety inspection, operation procedures, training, and emergency plan and emergency response, which were the main principles in process safety management. Finally, we proposed safety precautions for the identification, storage, production, and use of hazardous chemicals, as well as recommendations for process equipment management.

Keywords: Fishbone Diagram; Analytic Hierarchy Process; Process Safety Management

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