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Types of chemical plant explosions

Minnesota residents who are employed at industrial plants spend their work days surrounded by potentially legal dangers. Even with clearly identified safety protocol and laws in place, accidents can and do happen. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which investigates explosions at chemical plant facilities, indicates that a large number of explosions are ultimately caused by some type of safety deficit.

To get an idea of the varying types of chemical plant explosions that can occur, one need only to look at some well-documented examples. As explained by Industry Tap, one of these happened in the 1980s on what felt like the heels of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. A plant in Nevada that was responsible for manufacturing ammonium percolate, the fuel used in rockets, was the site of an explosion that ultimately registered like a minor earthquake. While in the process of welding new fuel containers, workers ignited other drums filled with fuel, setting off the massive explosion.

More recent examples can be seen both domestically and abroad. Workers at a Chevron plant in California in 2013 attempted to remove insulation in an old pipe discovered to be leaking. However, they did this while crude oil was being processed through the pipe. The result was an explosion that affected nearly 15,000 residents in the area. A Japan-based plant that manufactured resin for diapers was the site of yet another explosion. A small fire was attempted to be put out with water instead of the necessary chemicals, allowing the fire to spread.

Clearly the need not only to have safety rules in place but to ensure they are properly followed is important. Both elements are necessary in order to keep industrial workers safe.

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