Chemical Explosion and Injury Accident

Background

Several employees were severely burned and injured from an explosion at a manufacturing facility during cleaning operations.  Company cleaning procedures for process equipment required employees to use alcohol and compressed air to clean and sanitize the equipment.  Vapors from the alcohol filled the area and were ignited by a nearby torch that was used to process manufacturing material.  The explosion also resulted in a fire to the facility.

Services Provided

Rimkus was retained by counsel for the manufacturing facility to conduct an investigation to evaluate and analyze compliance of the facility with applicable codes, standards, and operational procedures. Our scope of work included the following:  

  • Inspect the manufacturing facility for applicable building code compliance, fire code compliance, and state OSHA requirements.
  • Review facility operations standards and cleaning procedures for compliance with industry standards.
  • Review and analyze the facility's inventory of stored hazardous materials, combustible materials, and flammable materials for compliance with applicable codes.
  • Review and analyze the building for the manufacturing and process areas within the facility for compliance with fire and explosion control.

Rimkus was also called upon to provide expert testimony, which included the following opinions:

  • The manufacturing facility complied with the applicable building codes and fire codes.
  • The employees did not follow the applicable process equipment cleaning procedures. 
  • The building for the manufacturing and process areas within the facility was in compliance with fire and explosion control. 

National Practice Leaders

Dirk E. Smith

Ph.D., P.E., ACTAR

Senior Vice President, Forensic Division