Investigation Results from Fatal Mishap

April 22 Briefing: Investigation Results from Florida State Univ. Fatal Mishap

On October 21, 2015, two National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) mechanical technicians were involved in an incident while attempting to remove a Victaulic blind flange from supply piping on a Magnet Cooling Water (MCW) System. The mechanical technicians were assisting a welder to obtain final measurements to make final connections from the MCW system to a new Cell 14 cryostat as part of the Series Connected Hybrid magnet project. When loosening the nuts on the Victaulic flange collar, an explosion occurred. The flange, the water behind the flange, or some combination of both, struck and propelled one mechanical technician backward and into the metal support structure for the cryostat, resulting in his death. A second technician, who was approximately 10 feet away at the time of the explosion, sustained minor injuries.

Leading the investigation of this mishap was the Environmental, Safety and Health (ESH) Director at Argonne National Lab, Betsy Dunn.  On Friday, April 22, 2016, Betsy will be at Jefferson Lab to share the results of the investigation.  The causes of this event are widespread, ranging from design issues, to Lock/Tag Try, training, and human performance, all of which are pertinent to our work planning at Jefferson Lab.  We have scheduled two sessions of this presentation in the CEBAF Center auditorium to accommodate the schedules of all who may be interested: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Betsy's presentation in both powerful and sorrowful.  I encourage you to attend, and ask that you encourage your work groups that perform hands-on work, or anyone interested to attend.

Mary Logue
Associate Director, ESH&Q
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
12050 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 602
Newport News, VA 23606