I had to cut short my searching time because I’m visiting U.C. Davis today, so here’s a short collection of chemical health and safety news for the week. I’ll catch up next week.
- Camera recording of South Korea hydrofluoric acid leak released (I shiver every time I look at the photo):
The recording shows two Hube Globe workers working on a tanker to unload hydrofluoric acid just before the accident happened at 3:45 p.m. While attempting to connect a hose to the tanker, one of them slipped, and strong, high-pressured fumes came out, knocking the men over. White gases filled the plant for minutes. …The workers were seen not wearing any safety gear, even helmets. … Police said they were supposed to close valves before connecting a hose, but instead went ahead with the valves open in order to save time.
- A new agreement between Chemtrec and China’s National Registration Center for Chemicals will promote information exchange during hazardous materials emergencies
- OSHA is looking for a new app, with prizes up to $15,000 as a reward: Design a tool for browsers/smartphones/social media platforms/etc. “that demonstrates the importance of recognizing and preventing hazards by helping young people understand their rights in the workplace.”
Fires and explosions:
- An explosives-loaded bunker blew up at the Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden Training Site. The bunker is leased by bomb recycler Explo Systems. The explosion rattled nerves in the area but the bunker contained the blast so there was minimal damage elsewhere.
Leaks, spills, and other exposures:
- Some sort of acid poured into sodium hydroxide at a Kraft plant near Hanover, Germany, led to a chemical release and the evacuation of 1,400 people
- U.K. workers disturbed a cache of phosphorus grenades sealed in a cellar, cracking one. Thirteen people were treated for chemical exposure to the fumes
- A trichloroacetic acid spill at Boston University sent one researcher to the hospital for evaluation.
Not covered (usually): meth labs; ammonia leaks; incidents involving floor sealants, cleaning solutions, or pool chemicals; transportation spills; things that happen at recycling centers (dispose of your waste properly, people!); and fires from oil, natural gas, or other fuels.