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Selected ignited leaks during LPG transfer operations.

Lark JJ; Pizatella TJ; Bochnak PM; Jensen RC
Prof Saf 1982 Jun; 27(6):5 pages
Safety strategies for the transfer of liquefied petroleum gases were addressed. Case histories of liquid petroleum gas fires were studied according to a logic tree diagram in order to identify contributing factors and recurrent accident patterns, examine the role of emergency valves in leak control during transfer operations, and assess the effectiveness of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 58 standard. The NFPA 58 standard detailed safety parameters for liquid petroleum gas transfer including equipment, installation, storage of portable containers, truck transportation, and building structures used as distribution facilities. A flow diagram of a typical liquid petroleum gas facility was charted which included a storage tank, pump, transfer station, piping system, various valves, and safety relief devices. The logic tree consisted of components of the fire triangle (ignition source, oxygen supply, fuel), six potential failure points within the transfer facility (input line, tank, tank to pump line, pump, pump to dispenser line, dispenser), and potential sources of heat and ignition (spontaneous combustion, electricity, hot surface, flame, spark). Accident reports from propane liquid transfer facilities used for logic tree analysis were obtained from the Fire Incident Data Organization. A total of 24 incidents were reviewed. Patterns observed included leaks between the input line and storage tank during filling operations, leaks at the dispenser during dispensing operations, rupture or separation of either input or dispenser lines, and accidents caused by tank vehicle movement. Recurring problems included a lack of remote shutoff valves to stop fuel flow after a fire had begun, excess flow valves that were not sensitive enough to detect leaks, and lack of concrete bulkheads to prevent ruptures or leaks from moving vehicles. The results were discussed with regard to compliance with the NFPA 58 standard.
NIOSH-Author; Combustible-gases; Fuels; Petroleum-products; Industrial-processes; Industrial-hygiene; Occupational-hazards; Explosion-prevention; Gas-industry; Fire-hazards; Safety-engineering;
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Journal Article
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Professional Safety
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division