Can the Aluminium Industry Learn from another Industry's Catastrophe?
|Periodical||Materials Science Forum (Volume 693)|
|Main Theme||Aluminium Cast House Technology XII|
|Edited by||A.Prasad, J.A. Taylor and J.F. Grandfield|
|Citation||Alex W. Lowery et al., 2011, Materials Science Forum, 693, 133|
|Online since||July, 2011|
|Authors||Alex W. Lowery, Terry Bateman|
|Keywords||Bleed Out, Casthouse, Molten Aluminum Steam Explosion, Safety Management System|
On April 20, 2010, an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico resulting in the deaths of 11 workers. Tens of thousands of documents were released during the investigation for the root cause of the explosion."What emerges is stark and singular fact: crew members died and suffered terrible injuries because every one of the Horizon's defenses failed on April 20. Some were deployed but did not work. Some were activated too late, after they had almost certainly been damaged by fire or explosions. Some were never deployed at all.(Barstow et al. 2011)". Parallels with the aluminium industry standout when comparing the Deepwater Horizon disaster (e.g. violent explosions, damaged equipment, worker deaths and worker injuries). The list of aluminium industry catastrophes is not short: Binzhou Weiqiao Aluminum, Reynolds Alabama, Alcan France, etc. Aluminium plants, just as deepwater oil rigs, value training and safety measures to prevent accidents from occurring. But, on April 20, 2010 every safety measure employed failed, could the safety measures employed in a casthouse to prevent a molten metal steam explosion fail too?