Incident At The Sjv Refinery Essay

Incident At The Sjv Refinery Essay

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Incident at the SJV Refinery, Case Study
Curtis Acree
Columbia Southern University

As an emergency response coordinator for a refinery it is vital to understand what hazards are associated with the products found in a crude oil refinery. Routine and non-routine maintenance will need to be done in order to maintain a working and operating oil refinery. This can create complicated situations or scenarios, because numerous contractors may be brought in for different repairs. This can lead to accidents in some cases because of the wide range of things going on in the refinery. Training and communication will be vital for a safe work environment with multiple entities working. Documentation of the training will also be crucial.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (2012) crude oil contains a wide variety of mixtures and consists primarily of hydrocarbons. Crude oil contains such substances as, chromium, iron, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and benzene (known human carcinogen) to name a few. Some of these substance alone can pose some sort of health risk, but when combined with heat a greater health risk exists. One such hazard is the burning of sulfur, which creates sulfur dioxide. Sulfur dioxide is a highly reactive gas, and in 2010 a new standard has come out allowing only 75 ppb over a 1-hour weighted time, this is meant to protect the public welfare (EPA, 2015). Other by-products may be found at a crude oil refinery, such as polyethylene (PETE), diesel, gasoline, and kerosene.
The fuel products made during the refining process such as kerosene of gasoline can and do possess a high ignition danger. The refinery process requires that crude oil be heated to get the desired products. This can be hazardous beca...

... middle of paper ...

...k that this project could have been done safely with the conditions provided. I feel the biggest problem was the lack of communication at all levels. Accidents will happen no matter how well you have planned if communication isn’t present.

Gunderson, S., Helikson, C., & Heffner, M. (2014) HazMat Emergencies: Decontamination & Victim Chain of Survival. Professional Safety, 40-46.
Meyer, E. (2014). Chemistry of hazardous materials (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall.
Sulfuric dioxide. Air & Radiation. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved October 9, 2015 from
Tox Town - Crude Oil - Toxic chemicals and environmental health risks where you live and work - Text Version. (n.d.). Retrieved Dec 8, 2015 from

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