Catalyst Fire with Lone Working
A Chemist working alone, was filtereing off some Palladium Charcoal catalyst, after an hydrogenation, in a fume cupboard. He had placed an inverted funnel some 15 inches above the filter, with a stream of nirtogen attached to it.
As the catalyst started to suck dry, so it ignited the solvent. The chemist put out the fire and continued working. He was then surprised by several firemen appearing at the laboratory door. As this fume cupboard was dedicated to hydrogentaions it had a flame detector fitted, this had alerted the internal fire department.
The following was a list of the errors found:
- Filtering pyrophoric catalysts on his own
- Funnel with nitrogen far too high
- Fire not reported immediately to Fire Deaprtmnet
- Not wearing a Lone Working alarm
- Failure to press the Panic Button when the fire started