Poly pipe

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poly pipe incident

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Poly pipe

  1. 1. Poly Pipe Safety Alert – Applying air pressure to pipe Wyoming State Mine Inspector’s Office
  2. 2. Recent Incident  A severe injury was caused by the application of air pressure to clear a frozen chunk from a 6” poly pipe approximately 400 feet long.
  3. 3. Poly Pipe Incident – cont.  The employee had been working in sub-zero temperatures to clear frozen pipe. The pipe was located on a ramp.
  4. 4. Poly Pipe Incident – cont.  The employee had fabricated a fitting for the bottom end of the pipe so he could connect a portable air compressor.  He then applied approximately 150 psi to the pipe to help clear the ice.  While applying the pressure, he used a small sledge hammer to beat on the sides of the pipe and applied heat with a propane torch to help free the ice.
  5. 5. Poly pipe, fitting and hose
  6. 6. Poly Pipe Incident – cont.  The employee stated that he “heard” the ice starting to break loose.  He then stated that he noticed the pipe start to move and he tried to run away from it.  The ice “exploded” from the uphill side of the pipe and the pipe whipped from side to side ending up lying across the haul road.
  7. 7. Some of the ice chunks from pipe
  8. 8. Final resting place of poly pipe
  9. 9. Poly Pipe Incident – cont.  The employee was struck by either the pipe and/or the ice chunks.  Large amounts of coal and ice were later cleaned from the wound on his leg.  Damage to his leg was so severe that the leg was amputated below the knee.
  10. 10. Causes  It was determined that applying air pressure to clear ice from poly pipe was not the normal and safe way to clear ice.  This action violates WR77.412(c) Compressed air systems: At no time shall compressed air be directed toward a person. When compressed air is used, all necessary precautions shall be taken to protect persons from injury.
  11. 11. Cause – cont.  Employee did not secure the 6” poly pipe from movement when he applied air into the pipe to help move the ice plug. Because of this failure, when the ice plug was blown from the pipe by the air pressure, the pipe whipped violently back and forth and ice chunks where shot out of the end of the pipe. This movement and his attempt to escape the movement, caused the employee to be severely injured.  This site no longer uses air to clear ice from poly pipe.
  12. 12. Conclusion  Use SLAM!
  13. 13. SLAM Risks!  Stop Think through the task  Look Identify the hazards for each job step  Analyze Determine if you have the proper knowledge, training, and tools  Manage Remove or control hazards and use proper equipment

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