Friday, January 28, 2011

Global Incident Awareness Can Save Lives

Two strikingly similiar pictures, two different countries, yet the explosive effects in these storage tanks were basically the same in the liquor pulping recovery process. In both catastrophic incidents fatalities occurred at corrugated packaging manufacturing facilities. The incident in France happened this month and the other in Wisconsin back in 2008, which the Chemical Safety Board is currently investigating. As a result of the Wisconsin incident CSB issued a March 2010 Safety Bulletin on Hazards of Welding and other Hot Work.

Christian Bourdon, the contract worker from Saint-Aubin, France died unnecessarily in the hospital as a result of injuries sustained from the explosion while doing hot work on the storage tank. Don't know if Christian or others in the global workforce had a chance to read the educational CSB bulletin. Incident investigations determining root cause and safety bulletins are great if the information is being received by OHS professionals then passed on to the workforce. Yet it is difficult to understand why repeatable catastrophic incidents are occurring when information is abundant concerning the hazards. Providing examples of these two incidents is even harder to grasp since the manufacturing and storage process were the same.

It is unacceptable that life-saving information resides securely within national borders when occupational health and safety is a global concern. In contrast global financial markets send and receive data real-time. So is the value of the buck of more importance than human life?

Paper & Pulp Mill Process Magnetrol International


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