Chemical Safety Board Chairman John Bresland released a new video safety message asking jurisdictions across the country to adopt the ASME Pressure Vessel Code to reduce the number of accidents involving catastrophic pressure vessel failures in process industries.
In the safety message, Chairman Bresland warned that without appropriate safeguards, pressure vessels can pose lethal dangers. Chairman Bresland said, “Pressure vessels store tremendous amounts of energy and you should never become complacent about the risks.”
Particular danger exists when vessels are improperly installed, welded, or modified, or when they lack effective pressure relief systems. Mr. Bresland refers to several incidents investigated by the CSB including an explosion at a Louisiana natural gas well that killed four workers when a tank rated only for atmospheric pressure was exposed to gas pressure up to 800 pounds per square inch.
In 2004 a pressure vessel weighing 50,000-pounds exploded at a chemical plant in Houston, Texas, throwing heavy fragments into the community, which damaged a church and businesses.
Chairman Bresland stated that these accidents can be avoided if states implement long-established codes for safe use. He said, “There are only eleven states that do not require companies to follow the Pressure Vessel Code of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). I ask all jurisdictions to adopt the Pressure Vessel Code and related boiler standards.”
The ASME Code provides the fundamental safeguards for pressure vessels, including design, welding procedures and fabrication, testing, and pressure relief