Fire Ensues due to Failure to Recognize Combustible Metal Hazard
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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Fluor BWXT Portsmouth, Portsmouth, OH (Fluor BWXT)

Published As:  Public

Date: 

Topics:  Fire Protection, Work Management/Planning, Welding/Hot Work - Grinding

Personnel who were knowledgeable of the potential existence of combustible material within the cell piping were not utilized effectively for evaluating the hazards.

A fire occurred inside cell process piping in the Portsmouth X-326 facility. The fire occurred while a team preparing for an equipment removal evolution was tack welding a flat plate onto piping previously connected to a compressor discharge line - hot weld spatter from the Gas Metal Arc Welding process ignited combustible material inside the piping.

Any recognized change from past work practices or condition of equipment/areas to be worked should be fully evaluated before beginning work. The failure to evaluate changing practices or conditions can lead to unknown or unforeseen hazards in the workplace. Such a failure led to a small fire in process piping upon introduction of weld splatter.

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