Process industry accidents in Sri Lanka: Analysis and basic lessons learnt

Gunasekera, M. Y.; De Alwis, A. A. P.
November 2008
Process Safety & Environmental Protection: Transactions of the I;Nov2008, Vol. 86 Issue 6, p421
Academic Journal
Accidents in the process industry could be prevented or reduced by having good safety management measures. Such preventive measures could be further improved through the experiences and lessons learnt from past accidents. Therefore, analysis results of past accidents are valuable sources of information for determining root causes and as case material to prevent and reduce the adverse consequences of accidents in the process industry. This paper looks at accidents in the process industry that have occurred in the past 10 years from 1997 to 2006 in Sri Lanka to gain an understanding of the nature and consequences of accidents. Lessons and main areas of concern to improve safety in the Sri Lanka process industry are discussed. The analysis is done for different event types based on specific operating process stage during which the accident occurred such as processing, loading and unloading, repair and maintenance and storage, the immediate effect types such as fire, explosion, chemical releases and emissions and the consequences of each accident. Fire incidents were observed in 38 accidents analyzed. The results show that the highest number of accidents has occurred during processing operations followed by accidents during maintenance and repair work. The cause analysis shows that many accidents have occurred due to technical and human failures. The accidents are then classified according to the severity of the consequences in order to compare the nature of accidents experienced in Sri Lanka with respect to accidents in other countries in the world.


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