Global Safety Team (GST) Newsletter
World Chlorine Council
Home Page: http://worldchlorine.com/
What’s Wrong with This Picture?
(See page 6)
Global Safety Team (GST) Newsletter
World Chlorine Council
News about the Global Safety Team ……………………………………………………. ……. 3
US Chemical Safety Board Issues Safety Bulletin ………………………………..………….. 3
Learning from Incidents …………………………………………………………………… …… 4
1. Chlorine gas leak on drain valve line………………………………….. ………..... 4
2. A valve must be used as foreseen!……………………………………..…………...5
3. Explosion in hydrogen header during start up …………………………………. 6
Six More Tips –from Always- Never Poster ………………………………….…………………6
Useful Links ………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Calendar ………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
This Newsletter is the third in a series of quarterly newsletters issued by the World Chlorine Council’s
Global Safety Team. This newsletter is being distributed by your regional association to its members in a
manner that it chooses. Feedback by anyone reading this newsletter is welcomed. Feedback should be
sent to your association’s GST contact as listed below.
The World Chlorine Council’s Global Safety Team is comprised of more than 20 members from eight
trade associations and nine companies who are members of one or more of these trade associations.
WCC Global Safety Team Association Contacts
Association Person E-mail
Chlorine Chemistry Division Robert Simon Robert_Simon@americanchemistry.com
American Chemistry Council
Chlorine Institute Art Dungan arthurdungan@CL2.com
Clorosur Martim Penna email@example.com
Euro Chlor Jean Pol DeBelle firstname.lastname@example.org
Euro Chlor Alistair Steel email@example.com
Japan Soda Industry Association Shigeru Moriyama firstname.lastname@example.org
Korea Chlor Alkali Industry Young Choon-Lee email@example.com
RusChlor Boris Yagud firstname.lastname@example.org
WCC Global Safety Team Tel: 703-741-5770
C/o Chlorine Institute Fax: 703-741-6068
1300 Wilson Boulevard E-Mail: fbyrne@CL2.com
Arlington, VA 22209
News about the Global Safety Team
Global Safety Team (GST) Incident Tracking Program
The GST seeks to learn about any chlorine incident and report about it in this newsletter or in its annual
compilation of such incidents so all can learn about such incidents with the goal of preventing
reoccurrence. The GST believes it is important to use the experience so gained to improve the technical
recommendations published by the members associations. Please report any such chlorine incident to
your member association per the contact list on page 2 of this newsletter.
GST Ambassador Program
The ambassador program is an outreach program to new and not so new producers, users, or distributors
of chlorine to provide them with safety and stewardship information pertaining to chlorine and to industry
contacts primarily in countries where there is no active WCC association. Ambassador packets are
available from your local association contact or the secretariat of the GST per the contact list on page 2 of
GST Newsletter Translations and Postings
Clorosur translates this newsletter into Portuguese and Spanish.
The Japan Soda Industry Alliance translates the newsletter into Japanese.
RusChlor translates the newsletter into Russian.
The Dow Chemical Company the newsletter into Chinese (Mandarin).
All of the above then post the Newsletter on their member websites and/or distribute it to their
members and/or employees.
The Global Safety Team thanks all these organizations for their efforts to promote the safe production,
distribution, and use of chlorine and related chemicals.
GST to meet in Delhi on October 24
The Global Safety Team will meet during the World Chlorine Council’s General Assembly in Delhi, India
on October 23-26, 2007. The GST will meet on October 25, 2007 from 8:00 a.m. until noon. While the
agenda for the meeting has not yet been developed, it is expected that the first two hours will focus on
safety issues of concern to all WCC members. The reminder of the meeting will be focused on team
business. All members of WCC are invited to attend the GST meeting.
US Chemical Safety Board Issues Safety Bulletin
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) recently issued a Safety Bulletin
pertaining to emergency shutdown systems for chlorine transfer. The bulletin emphasizes the importance
of installing, testing, and maintaining chlorine detection and emergency shutdown devices on chlorine
railcar transfer systems. The bulletin compares two chlorine releases investigated by the CSB. In both
instances an unloading hose failed resulting in chlorine being released. In the first instance, the
emergency shutdown system malfunctioned, resulting in a release of nearly 22 metric tons of chlorine. In
the second instance, the emergency shutdown system functioned properly, and the release was
minimized with no off site consequences. The bulletin is available at
Learning from Incidents
1. Chlorine gas leakage caused by seal failure of the drain valve on a
liquid chlorine pipeline
Description of Incident:
After completing the loading of a tank lorry, the operator shut down the filling pipeline in order to replace a
leaking valve. The operator drained the residual liquid chlorine, and released the internal pressure,
following the standard procedure. However, there was another leaking valve (B), which was not yet found
during the operation. This valve (B) was always kept closed in a normal operation.
When the operator opened the purge valve cap (A) for nitrogen purging, the residual chlorine gas
remained inside the pipeline from the valve (B) to the purge valve cap blew out of the pipe end. This
incident happened due to a seal failure of the valve (B). The incident did not become serious because the
operator immediately left the area.
1. No personal protective equipment.
2. No risk prediction on seal failure for the valve (B), which is normally kept closed except under shut
3. No sign of caution in reminding of the risk of the valve (B) seal failure.
4. Lack of training for using a local ventilation hose.
5. Lack of operational cautions against potential risks.
1. The valve (B) was also replaced.
2. The operator was retrained to open the purge valve cap end slowly after the local ventilation
extension hose is ready.
2. A valve must be used as foreseen!
In the chlorine liquefaction building, a manual valve, normally expected to be closed, was installed as a
bypass around a flow limiting orifice plate on liquid chlorine.
Circumstances of the accident
The orifice plate was undersized and, to increase flow to the required value, the operators had to open
very slightly the valve.
After about 4 weeks of operation, the valve bellow (Hastelloy) failed in service; the additional packing on
the stem of the valve was not tight enough and liquid chlorine leaked up the valve spindle and vaporized
inside the building.
Thanks to the automatic detection system, the leak was rapidly detected; the equipment was remotely
isolated and put under suction to the safety absorption unit.
Process operators tightened the gland and drained the system.
Analysis of the accident
A first investigation of the valve by the supplier has indicated that the bellow failed one convolution up
from the lower weld. There were concentric rings of wear on the valve spindle, suggesting the bellow had
been rubbing on the spindle in the operating position; there were wear marks on the inside of the bonnet
suggesting the spindle guide had also been rubbing in the operating position and the seat mark on the
disc, which should have been a line contact, was a wide band suggesting that the disc had been rubbing
on the seat.
The most probable explanation is that operating in just slightly open position, the valve spindle and disc
had been vibrating, causing excessive vibration (resonance) of the bellow, which resulted in the wear
seen and a fatigue failure of the bellow. Additional investigation suggests also possible stress corrosion
cracking, but this has not been confirmed.
Learning from the accident
The type of valve is foreseen (designed) to be used completely open or completely closed. Instead of
recalculating, manufacturing and installing a new orifice, the first immediate solution to allow an increase
of the load was to “twist” a bit the installation, with the negative consequences of a chlorine leak.
This put again in evidence the importance of the “management of changes”, even for very small
3. Explosion in hydrogen header during start up
Description of Incident
A hydrogen header explosion spoiled a start up at a chlor-alkali plant. Evidence revealed that the
nitrogen purge was insufficient to prevent a vacuum from occurring as the system cooled allowing air to
enter the hydrogen system.
Corrective Actions undertaken:
1. Modified cell liquor funnels to reduce the potential for sparking.
2. Modified procedures to minimize openings of the header during shutdown to insure the nitrogen purge
3. Routinely verify adequacy of nitrogen purge during shutdown.
4. Sample hydrogen header for oxygen content prior to start up.
1. An undetected excess of oxygen in the hydrogen header can support an explosion.
2. An inert should be used to purge the hydrogen header prior to start up and after shutdown.
Six more tips contained in the GST’s Always- Never Poster
Make sure all equipment and packaging is free of organic oils and greases before entering
Maintain dew points below –40 °F (-40 °C) in air addition systems for chlorine services!
Investigate all process safety incidents and share findings with other units!
Never allow systems containing hydrogen to reach explosive limits of chlorine in hydrogen!
Never allow moisture or water to enter dry chlorine systems!
Never use in sodium hydroxide services equipment made out of aluminum, tin, copper, zinc!
The full poster can be downloaded from the WCC website at http://worldchlorine.com/programs/safety_tips.pdf .
What’s Wrong with This Picture? (From page 1)
The smiling gentleman without any personal protective equipment is being exposed to whatever toxic materials
that might be encountered by the workers.
Global Safety Team Newsletter
Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) http://www.aiche.org/ccps/
CCPS has a variety of information on process safety. Some of the information is available for free
downloads. CCPS issues its monthly Process Safety Beacon in a variety of languages and distributes it
for free. These one page articles are great to use for tool box safety meetings. You can sign up for a free
subscription at http://www.aiche.org/CCPS/Publications/Beacon/index.aspx.
Chemical Safety Board http://www.csb.gov/
The US Chemical Safety and Accident Safety Board (CSB) investigates accidents that have occurred in
chemical plants in the United States. Archives of completed investigations provide details of what went
wrong. The CSB has issued a safety video on reactive chemical hazards, featuring computer animations
of some accidents that it has investigated. The video can be downloaded from the website.
OSHA Reactives Chemicals Technical Information
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration maintains a website devoted to reactive
chemicals at http://www.osha.gov/dcsp/alliances/reactives/reactives.html.
EU Safety and Health http://osha.europa.eu/OSHA
This European Agency is focused on helping the European industry in the field of occupational safety and
health, with good practices information, practical examples…
A specific site is dedicated to the 19 millions Small and Medium-size Enterprises at
EU Prevention, Preparedness and Response to major accidents in the chemical industry
Although it is located in the “Environment” part of the EU website, this specific part refers to the
application of the EU Directive to prevent and organize the response on major chemical accidents in the
Calendar of Upcoming Events
APVN-WCC-GVC Stewardship Seminar Stewardship Workshop –Bangkok, Thailand
August 23 -24, 2007
Euro Chlor General Assembly Meeting - Taormina, Sicily
September 10- 15, 2007
Chlorine Institute Fall Meeting – Nashville, TN
September 30 –October 2, 2007
World Chlorine Council General Assembly - Delhi, India
October 23 - October 26, 2007
WCC -AMAI Stewardship Workshop - Delhi, India
October 24, 2007
Abiclor Safety Transportation Seminar – Sao Paulo, Brazil
November 8, 2007