12 May 2006

Polymer Inhibitor Splash

Safety Incident Topic: Polymer Inhibitor Splash
Location Of Incident: Optimal Olefin Plant, Malaysia
Date Of Incident: Not Known

Brief Account Of Incident
Two personnel, one contractor and one Optimal employee were sprayed with chemical polymer inhibitor, Petroflo 20Y97. Both were attended by Doctor Wan and given first aid treatment. The Optimal employee resumed work after teratment. But the contractor was sent to Dungun Hospital and subsequently to Kuala Terengganu Hospital for further treatment.

The incident happened while they were disconnected a tubing line as part of RTM (isolation) process. Formal root cause investigation is still on going.

Preliminary observations were:
1. It was a closed loop system that was supposed to have been drained. Timing of this activity still being verified.
2. Line condition was not verified at the time of the incident.
3. Drain valve was opened upstream of an isolation valve that was closed. The disconnecting point was downstream of this valve.
4. Tubing was disconnected and after a few minutes material came out of the tubing.

My Personal Comment as the incident investigation report was not available for me
1. The incident shows the value in having appropriate protection when doing first break.
2. The principle will apply on every first break even after plant preparation is completed with an expectation that the engineering workforce will wear a visor and splash resistant smock.
3. For contractor assisting the plant praparation then this should be cover under the permit; they do not have the experience that our guy have of handling petrochemicals and need close controls and supervision.

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