Severity
Incident
Leak
Yes
Ignition
Yes

An instrument engineer at a hydrogen production facility was arresting the hydrogen leakage in tapping a pressure transmitter containing 131-bar hydrogen gas. The isolation valve was closed and the fittings near the pressure transmitter were loosened. The pressure dropped from 131 bar to 51 bar. The fitting was further loosened (though very little); the instrument tube slipped out of the ferrule and got pulled out of the fitting. With the sudden release of the 51-bar hydrogen, there was a loud pop (like a fire cracker) and the spark-proof tool was observed to have black spot on it. The volume of the hydrogen gas released was small, since it was in the tapping line only.

Incident Date
Sep 09, 2008
Equipment
  • Safety Systems
  • Measurement / Sensing Device
  • Piping/Fittings/Valves
  • Piping
  • Hydrogen Production/Use Systems
  • Water Electrolysis System
  • Hand Tools
  • Non sparking tools
Damage and Injuries
Characteristics
When Incident Discovered
Lessons Learned

Safe work procedures will be prepared and followed. Hydrogen will be vented out of the system to create an inert atmosphere before working on system tubing and joints. The importance of purging hydrogen piping and equipment is discussed in the Lessons Learned Corner on this website.