Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.69, No.6 (2008)

Research paper

Accident data analysis and hazard assessment in fireworks manufacture
M Surianarayanan, SP Sivapirakasam, and G Swaminathan


Accidents in fireworks manufacturing units are a major threat to the society due to their devastating effects. Several accidents during processing, storage and transportation have been reported in Indian fireworks manufacturing units. In this paper, the analysis of 70 case histories of fatal accidents reported during 1994 - 2006 in Tamil Nadu, India is presented. The analysis showed that most of the fatal accidents in fireworks industry occurred in filling and mixing sections. Mechanical effects and chemical reactivity are found to be major contributors to accidents. Hot weather is one another major contributing factors. This showed that fireworks chemicals are susceptible to thermal stimuli. The analysis also brought to notice that processing of flash compositions and rocket mixtures are more hazardous than other pyrotechnic mixtures. For the first time, an intensive Job Safety Analysis (JSA) was carried out for various unit operations such as weighing, sieving, mixing, filling, fuse cutting, drying and finishing activity of fireworks manufacturing. The study explored the various possible hazards during manual processing and handling of fireworks mixtures. It was evaluated that during normal processing of fireworks the chemical mixture can be subjected to a frictional load and impact energy of 17.2 N and 19.6 J respectively. On comparing this value with the reported friction and impact sensitivity data, it could be found that the fireworks mixtures carry with them the risk of fire and explosion as a consequence of abnormal operations like excess force exertion, mishandling, dropping of utensils / tools, slip and fall.

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Accident analysis, Fireworks, Pyrotechnics, Job safety analysis, Impact stimulus, Frictional stimulus.  

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