Task or Environmental Conditions » LTA work method

23Fire In A Multi-Floor Screen House



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Brief Description of Incident/Accident & Description of Consequences/Outcomes:

During routine maintenance two workers were replacing the rubber skirts in a screen on the top floor of the screen house.

The job called for a hot work permit with associated confined space requirements for the hot work as they planned to use oxyacetylene equipment to cut the retaining bolts. After the bolts had been cut and the hot work completed in accordance with the permit and other requirements, including a five-minute fire watch, the workers went to the workshop to make up the new rubber skirts.

After about 30 minutes two other employees noticed a large fire in the screen house. They attempted to extinguish the fire using portable fire extinguishers and a small on-site hose. The fire was so intense that they were driven back by the heat and smoke. Another two employees arrived to assist using portable fire extinguishers, and they were also driven back and could only fight some small fires caused by the main conveyor belt burning through, breaking and running backwards to the conveyor tail end thus causing molten rubber to fly around the area. The fire brigade was called and eventually the fire was extinguished. The fire had caused considerable damage to the screen house and conveyor system. The two employees who found the fire suffered minor smoke inhalation and were taken to hospital for observation and later released without complications.

Identified Root Causes:

Exposure of combustible components to hot material/slag during and after conducting hot work

Energy Type(s) Involved:

Fire and toxic smoke

Equipment Type(s):

Multi-floor screen house, screens and conveyor systems

Root & Contributing Cause(s):

LTA hot work

LTA work method

Stated or Potential Consequence(s):

Plant damage

Potential Fatality

Preventative/Recommended/Accepted Steps of Risk Mitigation, Points of Interest:

1. Review and update the risk management plan for emergencies on a regular basis through consultation with employees and ensure the required controls are put in place and the workforce advised of all changes.

2. Review the risks associated with hot work in all areas of the mine and ensure all hazards are identified and the controls are adequate to reduce risk to workers.

3. Consideration should be given to determining and setting a realistic fire watch period, both during and after the hot work is completed.

4. Review the suitability of training that employees receive in fire fighting and that it meets all identified needs. Employees should be made aware of the hazards present during an emergency and how to determine when they are exposed to unacceptable risk.

Organisation:

Queensland Government Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI)


Results

Here are the results.


Information

Reference Type:

Safety Alert #87

Mine Type:

Surface Mine

Energy:

Radiation > Thermal

Equipment:

Published:

2002

Region:

Australia, Queensland

ICAM Categories

Organisational Factors

• LTA risk assessment

Task or Environmental Conditions

• LTA work method

Individual or Team Actions

• LTA work method

Failed or Absent Defences

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