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9789381904909 | PaperBack
182 + xvi pp | 2014

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The Two Largest Industrial Disasters in History with Hazardous Material
Chris Pietersen
  • The story of the investigation of the MIC toxic gas tragedy in Bhopal (more than 3,700 deaths)and the LPG disaster in Mexico City (500 fatalities), the difficult circumstances of the investigations and the results. Have we learned any lessons?
  • Unique information like the original technical drawings of the Bhopal plant.
  • Information about LPG safety, also by describing other LPG disasters. Various explosions (BLEVE’s) of LPG road tankers are discussed.
  • The underlying causes of the failure of safety management. Developments in 25 years are analysed. The disasters of 1984, compared with more recent incidents, such as an explosion in a furnace (Geleen, 2003), and the refinery disaster in Texas (USA) in 2005.
  • Land use planning policies failed dramatically in Mexico and Bhopal. The existing (QRA) policy in Europe for “safe distances” around plants with hazardous substances will prevent that large number of victims are likely. However, the underlying causes of Mexico City and Bhopal are still present.
  • Process Safety Annexes: Contemporary methods for process safety as HAZOP, LOPA, SIL and incident investigation (Tripod) are described and elaborated through examples.
"...The author writes in the opening ‘Who is interested in a book about these old disasters?' My reply is anyone who works in the process safety field....
I recommend the book to any process safety supervisor or entry level engineer entering the process safety community."
Prof. Dr. R. J. Willey
(Professor of Chemical Engineering at Boston, USA. From his review of this book in the Safety & Health Newsletter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
“This book describes in a consistent and readable way, that safe handling of hazardous substances is not obvious and that a safety culture throughout our society is necessary. Safety is never finished.”
Prof. Dr. ir J. G. M. Kerstens
(Chairman Advisory Board Hazardous Substances)
Chris Pietersen: The study of Bhopal MIC and Mexico LPG disasters by Chris Pietersen and his safety work afterwards contributed to more insight in international Process Safety. He received the TNO Senior Research Fellow title for it. He is still active in Industrial Safety and incident investigation. As director of Safety Solutions Consultants (SSC) he works with the industry to learn from incidents and to improve safety.

Rationale for this book
1. The Two Disasters Investigated
1.1 November 19, 1984: San Juan Ixhuatepec LPG Disaster, Mexico City
1.2 December 3, 1984: The Bhopal Tragedy, India
1.3 The Human Dimension
1.4 Safety Training in India

2. The LPG Disaster in San Juan Ixhuatepec
2.1 Installation
2.2 The Surrounding Area
2.3 Details of the LPG Disaster
2.4 Analysis of the Disaster
2.5 The Damage
2.6 Effects and Consequence Assessment Models
2.7 Emergency Handling Process
2.8 Evaluation of Investigation Results

3. The Bhopal Tragedy
3.1 The Plant and Production
3.2 The Events Leading to the Tragedy
3.3 Safety Information of MIC Storage from UC Manuals
3.4 Two Theories about the Cause
3.5 The Environment and the Emergency Handling Process in the Area
3.6 The Gas Cloud Effects and Prolonged Inhalation of MIC Vapour
3.7 The Process Safety Issues in Bhopal

4. Industrial Safety: Present Situation
4.1 Independent Accident Investigations and Policy Advice
4.2 Hazardous Substances Safety Legislation in Europe in 1984 and Later
4.3 The Safety Management System (SMS)
4.4 Land Use Planning: No Residential Areas Next to the Factories
4.5 Overall Conclusions

Annexes Annex 1: The BLEVE Phenomenon, Definition and Calculation
Annex 2: External Pressure Relating to the Bhopal Investigation
Annex 3: Original Log Sheets from the Bhopal Plant
Annex 4 HAZOP: Systematic Hazard Identification
Annex 5: The SIL Concept: How Safe Is Safe Enough?
Annex 6: Three More Disasters and Safety Management
Annex 7: Three Road Tanker BLEVE Cases and an LPG Railway Wagon without BLEVE
Annex 8: Learning from Incidents
Annex 9: The LPG Disaster in Feyzin (France), January 4, 1966
Annex 10: San Juan Ixhuatepec Situation and Bhopal Anno 2009
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