CSB names poor design and failure to test dust collector among causes of 2012 New Jersey flash fire
A report issued by the Chemical Safety Board states that the dust collection system at a New Jersey ink plant was so flawed it only took a day to accumulate enough combustible dust and hydrocarbons in the duct work to overheat, ignite spontaneously, causing a fiery explosion in the rooftop dust collector in 2012 that enveloped seven workers.
U.S. Ink is a subsidiary of Sun Chemical, a global graphic arts corporation which has some 9,000 employees worldwide. U.S. Ink manufactures black and color-based inks at seven U.S. locations including East Rutherford., NJ. A key step in the ink production process is mixing fine particulate solids, such as pigments and binders, with liquid oils in agitated tanks.
“The findings presented in the CSB report under consideration show that neither U.S. Ink nor its international parent company, Sun Chemical, performed a thorough hazard analysis, study, or testing of the system before it was commissioned in early October 2012, CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso said.
"The original design was changed, the original company engineer retired prior to completion of the project, and no testing was done in the days before the operation of the black-ink pre-mixing room production was started up," Moure-Eraso said.
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