The Silver Eagle Refinery explosion released a tidal wave of broken glass.
Homes were pushed off their foundations and countless workers were burned in the Utah-based petroleum refinery when a 10-inch pipe ruptured at the bottom of a reactor. The result was a hydrogen explosion and fire that would shake the sleepy city of Woods Cross.
The accident was caused by a rupture in a pipe that had become dangerously thin from corrosion, according to a 2014 report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. The accident could have been prevented were proper inspection strategies put in place.
Annual pipe inspections are integral to providing a safe workplace environment. While potentially expensive and time consuming – especially in large facilities – a comprehensive plan and routine maintenance schedule should be established. When examining pipes, safety professionals should examine not only the structure quality of the pipe, but its pipe markings.