Accident: D.D. Williamson & Co. Catastrophic Vessel Failure
Location: Location: Louisville, KY
Accident Occurred On: 04/11/2003 | Final Report Released On: 03/12/2004
Accident Type: Release
Investigation Status: The Board voted 4-0 to approve the final investigation report on March 12, 2004, at a public meeting in Louisville.
On the morning of April 11, 2003, one worker was killed at the D.D. Williamson food additive plant in Louisville, Kentucky, when a process vessel became overpressurized and failed catastrophically. The failure caused a release of aqueous ammonia as well as extensive damage to the plant, which manufactures caramel coloring.
Communicate to the owners of pressure vessels, mechanical
contractors, engineering consulting companies, and insurance
companies doing business in Kentucky that used pressure vessels are not exempt from registration and initial inspection before being placed in service in Kentucky.
Institute procedures to ensure that pressure vessels are
designed, fabricated, and operated according to applicable
codes and standards.
Audit all vessels at all D. D. Williamson facilities and ensure that they are: Equipped with adequate overpressure protection, as warranted. Equipped with alarms or interlocks, as warranted.
Implement a program to review existing equipment when it is used for new purposes and when safety devices are removed or altered.
Implement a hazard evaluation procedure to determine the potential for catastrophic incidents and necessary safeguards.
Audit manual control of process conditions, such as temperature and pressure, and determine if safeguards are needed.
Upgrade written operating procedures and train operators on the revised procedures.
Communicate to your members that used pressure vessels are
not exempt from registration and initial inspection before being
placed in service in Kentucky.
Communicate the findings of this report to your membership.