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The Risk of Petrochemical Companies - Research Paper Example

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Name Name of Professor Reducing the Risks of Petrochemical Companies Proposed Guidelines for Use in Industrial Applications Introduction It is generally known that it is impossible to live a life free of risk. However, there is only a slight recognition of the form of hazards which populations may be exposed to, and the intensity of hazard occurring…
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The Risk of Petrochemical Companies
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Download file to see previous pages Contemporary industrial period greatly relies on the utilization of numerous capably hazardous chemical substances. Wastes of petrochemical companies are harmful. These risks could be divided into three criteria, namely, (1) ergonomic harm, (2) fires/explosion, and (3) environmental contamination. Apparently, the major problem is how to effectively decrease such potential hazards in petrochemical companies. Petrochemical companies belong to a chemical system dependent on the products of gas and oil, and related processing of natural gas and petroleum. Hazardous wastes, on the other hand, are those which create a considerable risk or possible danger to the health of living beings for these are naturally deadly, constant, and non-degradable. Hazardous wastes are basically toxic, reactive, corrosive, and flammable (Jasanoff 1994). Ergonomic harm is one of the risks of petrochemical companies. Ergonomics denotes the interface between human beings and the device and machine in the workplace. Workers in petrochemical companies are highly exposed to ergonomic harms, such as musculoskeletal disorders (common for workers of drilling companies), or diseases caused by toxic fumes or substances (Attwood, Deeb, & Danz-Reece 2004). Petrochemical companies are also prone to accidental fires or explosions due to their handling of fuels, such as hydrocarbons. Even though these accidents may be quite unusual, when they do happen the effects can be quite serious, such as financial damage, employee casualty, or public injury (Khan & Abbasi 1998). Lastly, petrochemical companies carry with it several environmental hazards, just like in China and Argentina wherein massive environmental catastrophes have brought about a cycle of damages to the health of the local population. Several of the materials most intensely demanded by people for their use are innately harmful. Petroleum, for instance, is an expedient energy source. This convenience, while making petroleum important, also is the root of its risk. Numerous of the substances or materials used by the petrochemical industry are innately dangerous. Several of the procedures are dangerous as well. In order for petrochemical plants to operate with minimal risk, they should be properly planned and designed, and appropriate procedure and guidelines should be implemented in their operation and management. The safety of petrochemical plants has drawn a great deal of public attention due to a number of major accidents, several of which are identified as the following (Banerjee 2003, 2): the 1974 Flixborough explosion in which 28 were killed, 89 injured and severe damage caused to buildings, the 1975 Beek propylene release and refinery fire in which 14 were killed, the 1976 Seveso accident in which highly toxic substances were released to the environment causing contamination to wide areas with attendant health implications for the surrounding populace, the gas storage plant catastrophe near Mexico City at San Juan Ixhuatepec (1984) in which about 500 people perished and extensive damage was done, the Bhopal toxic gas release (1984) in which about 3400 were killed and many more injured, etc. In every one of these accidents an explosion, a fire, or a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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