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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Violation Detail

Standard Cited: 5A0001 OSH Act General Duty Paragraph

Violation Items

Nr: 314109356 Citation: 01002 Issuance: 01/19/2011 ReportingID: 0317500

Viol Type:Serious NrInstances:1 Contest Date:02/07/2011
Abatement Date:01/24/2011 X Nr Exposed:7 Final Order:12/17/2012
Initial Penalty: $7,000.00 REC:A Emphasis:
Current Penalty: $7,000.00 Gravity:10 Haz Category:BURNS

Penalty and Failure to Abate Event History
Type Event Date Penalty Abatement Type FTA Insp
Penalty Z: Issued 01/19/2011 $7,000.00 01/24/2011 Serious  
Penalty F: Formal Settlement 12/17/2012 $7,000.00 01/24/2011 Serious  

Text For Citation: 01 Item/Group: 002 Hazard: BURNS

Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970: The employer did not furnish employment and a place of employment which were free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees in that the explosion-relief vents (or deflagration vents) on a zinc distillation column ("B Column") were not safely designed according to industry standards, creating the potential for a partial or complete failure of the column. (a) Facility, Zinc Refinery Building: Two explosion-relief vents on the third floor, and two explosion-relief vents on the second floor of a zinc distillation column ("B Column"), were not safely designed according to industry standards, creating the potential for a partial or complete failure of the column The design deficiencies included: the design of the vents was not based on calculated value of the vented deflagration pressure no greater than two-thirds of the ultimate strength of the combustion chamber; the brick explosion-relief vents were not sized based on the burning velocity of the gaseous fuel inside the vented enclosure; the opening pressure of the explosion-relief vents was not tested or documented or maintained at the worksite; the explosion vented into an enclosed area rather than an outdoor area that is free and clear of any obstruction; and the design calculation data sheets for the explosion-relief vents, including descriptions of personnel proximity to the vent relief path, were not developed and maintained suitable for review by an authority having jurisdiction. Among other methods, one feasible and acceptable means of abatement is to comply with NFPA 68 ("Standard on Explosion Protection by Deflagration Venting") and NFPA 86 ("Standard for Ovens and Furnaces") with regard tot he safe design and structure of explosion-relief vents (or deflagration vents). Examples of relevant provisions of NFPA 68 and NFPA 86 include but are not limited to: NFPA 68 Section 6.3.1.1 provides "Pstat shall not exceed two-thirds of the ultimate strength for the vented enclosure, provided deformation of the equipment can be tolerated." NFPA 68 Section 6.7.2 provides: "A vent closure shall have low mass to minimize inertia, thereby reducing opening time," and Section 7.3.3.6 provides the particular equation that should have been used to calculate the mass of the vent closure. NFPA 68 Section 7.2.2 provides the equation that should have been used to determine the size of the vents based upon the type of gaseous fuel. NFPA 68 Sections 10.2.1, 10.2.2.2, 10.2.2.2.1, and 10.2.2.2.2 require the designer and/or manufacturer to test and document the value and tolerance of the Pstat of a vent enclosure, and to maintain such documentation. NFPA 68 Section 6.6.1 provides: "The material discharged from an enclosure during the venting of a deflagration shall be directed outside to a safe location." NFPA 68 Section 11.2 provides: "Data sheets, installation details, and design calculations shall be developed and maintained for each vent closure application, suitable for review by an authority having jurisdiction that verifies the vent area is sufficient to prevent deflagration pressure from exceeding the enclosure strength and identifies areas exposed to potential overpressure, event propagation, and fireball effects during venting. Documentation shall include all of the following:... (13) Proximity of personnel to vent relief path...(19) Employee training requirements."

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