Industry News

Distillery Fire Caused by Static Discharge

A distillery has been fined after an employee was engulfed in flames in a fire that destroyed the warehouse and its contents. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how ethyl acetate (highly flammable liquid) was being transferred from a bulk storage tank into an intermediate bulk container when an employee was engulfed in flames. An investigation by the HSE into the incident found that the most likely source of ignition was a discharge of static electricity generated by the transfer of the liquid. There was poor maintenance of pipework and associated valves. There was a failure to competently inspect the equipment or monitor the systems of work. See the link for further details: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2016/9465/

Competent DSEAR assessment of a plant should include a review of the hazards from static discharge. For further advice on testing for static hazards contact our Technical support team on +44 (0)1962 840570 or email info@sigma-hse.com.