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The Incident

A drum of bagged catalyst waste caught fire as the technician opened the lid.  The fire was promptly extinguished by replacing the lid (although the drum was subsequently hosed by the fire brigade).

The Investigation

Although most of the catalyst was inside the bags, traces of catalyst had adhered to the outside of the bags - maybe by handling with contaminated gloves.


Therefore the root cause was identified as dried out catalyst on the outside of the bags.

Lessons Learnt

The policy to bag the catalyst was a good one, this prevented a large amount of air coming in contact with the catalyst, and also slowed up the catalyst drying. However, ideally the bags should have been rinsed before placement in the drum to ensure that there was no free catalyst.

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