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  • Blast at US Government facility uncovers suspected methamphetamine lab

    03 August 2015

    On July 29, a US Congressional committee launched an inquiry into possible meth production at a government facility in Maryland, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). An explosion in a secluded part of the facility, which injured a NIST security officer, led to the discovery of chemical precursors and a recipe for making the highly addictive street drug....

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  • Canada sawmill explosion deaths ruled accidental

    03 August 2015

    A coroners inquest into the deaths of two men at the Burns Lake sawmill explosion in January 2012 has made 41 recommendations aimed at improving safety. The two fatalities and 11 injuries occurred during the fire and explosion at the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake, British Columbia, which the jury concluded were accidental....

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  • Qatar fatal restaurant explosion leads to four being jailed

    03 August 2015

    On July 31 a Qatari court sentenced the four deemed responsible for the Doha gas-tank explosion on February 24, 2014, to periods of imprisonment of up to five years. The blast in a Turkish restaurant killed 11 and injured a further 42, and the court further directed the defendants to compensate the families of the victims with blood money....

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  • Oil & Gas UK publishes new guidance on planned maintenance shutdowns

    30 July 2015

    On July 30, Oil & Gas UK launched new guidelines to minimise the frequency and duration of planned maintenance shutdowns and to improve the reliability and safety of installations on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) as part of the industry-wide drive to improve efficiency....

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  • Report into Kentucky whiskey distillery blast blames over-pressurisation of still

    29 July 2015

    The results of an official investigation by the Kentucky State Fire Marshal’s office into the cause of the Silver Trail Distillery explosion in late April have been released. The incident resulted in devastation to the Hardin, Marshall County, distillery and the death of one senior distiller, with another staff member seriously injured....

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Explosion and fire kill at least 25 in Egyptian furniture factory 29 July 2015

At least 25 people have died in a fire at a furniture factory in El Obour, an industrial city some 35 kilometres northeast of Cairo, with more than 20 others injured. An investigation is underway but reports suggest a gas cylinder exploded and that the plant did not have the safety clearances required to operate....

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West Virginia alloy plant arc flash blast injures four 29 July 2015

Four men suffered burns after an arc flash incident on July 28 at an alloy plant in Fayette County, West Virginia. A spokesman for West Virginia Manufacturing said the incident happened when the employees were digging to install a new security gate and accidentally hit an electrical line, which caused a transformer to blow....

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Japan increases Fukushima compensation to $57 bln 28 July 2015

On July 28 Japan approved an increase in compensation payments for the Fukushima crisis to 7.07 trillion yen ($57.18 billion). Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear station, will receive 950 billion yen more in public funds on top of the 6.125 trillion agreed earlier, the utility and government said....

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Nine killed in Italian fireworks factory explosion 27 July 2015

Reports from Italian media have confirmed that the death toll from the series of explosions at a fireworks factory near the southern city of Bari have reached nine, with a further three injured. The ANSA news agency said the explosion on July 24 completely destroyed the Bruscella factory in Modugno, with the subsequent fire threatening forests nearby....

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Australian mine workers injured by arc flash 27 July 2015

Two workers were injured in an arc flash incident in a West Australian underground mine. The workers, an electrician and mechanical fitter, were investigating water overflow issues at the unnamed site when the incident occurred, according to a WA Department of Mines and Petroleum  (DMP) report....

Features

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The top ten myths of dust zoning

Over 70% of powders handled in industry can cause dust explosions under the right conditions. Many of these powders can be found in the food and beverage sector, including sugar, sweeteners, starch, flour, grain, vitamins, amino acids, resins, gums, flavour ingredients, caffeine, and many others. In this article, Simon Gakhar of Chilworth Technology examines some myths that have become established in areas where dust explosion hazards are present...

Case Studies

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Automotive sector fires: Challenges and potential fire detection solutions

The potential cost of an automotive manufacturing plant fire ensures that safety, detection and preventive measures should never be compromised.  Fires such as the one in 2012 at BMW's Tiexi (China) plant and the automotive parts plant in Revesby near Sydney (Australia) demonstrate the consequences of a major conflagration. Michael J Pickford of FireVu discusses challenges and potential solutions for the sector....

Comment

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The importance of standards

BSI, the UK-based business standards company, has published independent research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) demonstrating the economic benefits of industrial standards to UK companies. The study analysed the contribution of standards to UK labour productivity between 1921 and 2013 and surveyed 527 companies in seven key sectors....

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