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  • Houston tank farm blaze brings company and state environmental regulator into firing line

    20 March 2019

    Texas officials said the fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company's Deer Park facility, which had been belching large quantities of black smoke over Houston since an explosion on March 17, was extinguished on the morning of March 20. Local media said the facility has violated clean air and water regulations many times in recent years, and the state environmental watchdog has also come in for criticism. ...

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  • Deaths from coal mine incidents in China fall to new low of 333 in 2018

    19 March 2019

    The number of coal mine deaths in China declined by 13.1% last year to stand at 333. It was the first time that China had recorded fewer than 0.1 deaths per million tons of coal produced, officials at a national coal mine safety conference in Beijing reported. The total number of incidents fell by just 0.9% to 224. ...

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  • OSHA cites Florida ammunition manufacturer for serious violations after fatal 2018 explosion

    19 March 2019

    The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited ammunition manufacturer AMTEC Less Lethal Systems Inc. for exposing employees to explosive hazards after an explosion fatally injured two workers at the company’s Perry, Florida, facility. The company faces $188,290 in penalties for multiple serious violations, and a willful violation that carries the maximum penalty allowed....

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  • US mining fatalities in 2018 were second lowest on record

    18 March 2019

    The US Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports that 27 mining fatalities occurred in 2018 - the second lowest number ever recorded. Eighteen fatalities occurred at surface operations; nine occurred in underground mines. Approximately 250,000 miners work across 12,000 US metal/nonmetal mines, and 83,000 miners work in the nation’s 1,200 coal mines....

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  • Viva Energy faces fine for 2016 leak from fuel storage facility into Sydney Harbour

    18 March 2019

    Viva Energy, one of Australia's largest energy companies, has been fined A$100,000 for an oil spill in Sydney Harbour that took more than six months to clean up. The leak, at the Gore Bay fuel storage, resulted in about 800 litres of fuel oil spilling onto nearby land, with about 500 litres of that entering the waters at Gore Cove, near Greenwich....

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Texas tank farm blaze envelops eight tanks, causes shelter in place order 18 March 2019

A fire at the Intercontinental Terminals Company Deer Park facility near Houston, which broke out on the morning of March 17 affecting two tanks, spread overnight to six other tanks causing thick clouds of smoke to cover the neighbourhood. There were about 30 ITC employees inside the plant at the time of the explosion, but there were no reported injuries. ...

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UK trade association updates risk assessment guidelines for flammable refrigerants 18 March 2019

Fresh guidance to ensure worker safety when handling a growing number of flammable refrigerant products being used in the climate control sector has been set out by UK trade body the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations. This focuses on assessing risk in the workplace to ensure compliance with the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR)....

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Stricken Italian container vessel causes large oil slick off French coast 15 March 2019

French authorities are bracing for a large oil slick to hit the country's coastline after an Italian ship capsized and sank in the Bay of Biscay off La Rochelle on March 13. The container vessel, Grande America, caught fire on March 10 during a trip from Hamburg to Casablanca. All 27 crew have been rescued but a large amount of fuel was reported to have spilled into the ocean....

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Lightweight metal foams become bone hard and explosion proof after being nanocoated 15 March 2019

Strong enough not only for use in impact protection systems in cars, but able to absorb the shock waves produced by a detonation. Those are just some of the properties shown by the metallic foams developed by materials scientists Stefan Diebels and Anne Jung at Saarland University. Their super lightweight and extremely strong metal foams can be customized for a wide range of applications. The inspiration for the new foam system came from nature: bones. 

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Iran gas pipeline explosion kills four 14 March 2019

A gas-pipeline explosion has killed at least two people in Iran’s southwestern province of Khuzestan, according to local media. The March 14 blast hit a pipeline between the provincial capital, Ahvaz, and the city of Mahshahr, near the Persian Gulf. The semi-official ISNA news agency said that the explosion was caused by a gas leakage from the pipeline....

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