Accidental Explosion

4 workers injured, building severely damaged in explosion.

Naturally enough, Sandia has a Worker Safety and Health Program. Unfortunately, they don’t always follow their own procedures.

In one example of not following the rules, a piece of equipment called an EB1200 electron beam port exploded and started a lithium fire. One worker was knocked to the floor and suffered injuries. Another had moved slightly just before the explosion which luckily saved him from death or serious injury. Three other workers in the building suffered traumatic tinnitus, a symptom of traumatic brain injury.

The explosion “lifted the roof” of the building, “separated or otherwise damaged” the exterior walls in 2 places, “displaced” ventilation ductwork in several places, and bent an exterior metal door 30 feet from the blast point.

That’s a pretty big safety violation.

Even scarier, DOE said that the incident was caused by many of the same violations that had happened a few years earlier during the “premature ignition” of a rocket motor.

Apparently, it’s not enough to have a Worker Safety and Health Program. Maybe Sandia should actually follow its own safety procedures?

Details at http://energy.gov/ea/downloads/preliminary-notice-violation-sandia-corporation-september-25-2014

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