Accident: E. I. DuPont De Nemours Co. Fatal Hotwork Explosion
Location: Location: Buffalo, NY
Accident Occurred On: 11/09/2010 | Final Report Released On: 04/19/2012
Accident Type: Hot Work - Explosion and Fire
Investigation Status: The CSB Board Members unanimously approved the final report 3-0 at a public meeting in Buffalo, NY, on April 19, 2012.
Two contractors were performing welding atop a 10,000 gallon slurry tank when hot sparks ignited flammable vapors inside the tank, causing an explosion that killed one contractor and seriously injured another.
Develop and enforce corporate-directed policies and procedures which will require all DuPont facilities to audit their hot work permitting systems prior to initiating hot work to ensure that:
Revise corporate policies and procedures to require that all process piping, or similar connections to tanks or vessels be positively isolated, (using closed valves, blind flanges or pancake blanks) and the equipment appropriately vented before authorizing any hot work.
Revise corporate policies and procedures to require that the atmosphere inside the container be monitored for flammable vapor prior to performing any welding, cutting, or grinding on the container surface.
Revise corporate policies and procedures to require air monitoring for flammable vapor inside the container for the duration of the hot work consistent with industry standards (NFPA 326, NFPA 51B). Create a policy for determining criteria for requiring continuous or periodic testing for the duration of hot work.