It’s 2:13 a.m.
All seems fine at your facility. No one is yet aware that a tube failure in a heat exchanger has allowed water to mix with liquefied chlorine going into one of five 150-ton storage tanks on your site. The resulting hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive. Earlier, when workers transferred the contents of the tank to a railroad tank car, the corrosive liquid began to rapidly compromise the steel piping system.
Suddenly, deafening alarms are ringing throughout the facility.
The automatic gas sensors located near the storage tanks have detected a rogue emission. Chlorine is leaking onto the ground from several overhead pipes. Within minutes, the atmosphere around the tanks is enveloped by a toxic cloud.
By now, the smell is unmistakable. In fact, a citizen driving by the plant on a nearby highway notices the offensive odor and makes a 911 call. It’s no longer a quiet Sunday night on your shift.
Fortunately, your facility installed SAFER Systems a year ago. Armed with the emergency intelligence provided by the software, your responders are in control of the situation. They’ve been trained on SAFER and have prepared extensively for this very moment.
As the chlorine began to leak, sensors detect the gas. Measured concentrations are displayed on your Real-Time System. Armed with real-time gas measurements and meteorological data, your Real-Time system simultaneously calculates the location of the leak and back calculates the size of the release and the resulting cloud. SAFER’s powerful dispersion models let you know exactly the size, shape and movement of the toxic cloud, and who is in danger, even in the pitch black of the early morning.
Meanwhile, results were displayed at the facility and at a remote monitor viewed by community emergency response personnel. Instructions are given to local law enforcement for staging roadblocks and setting up evacuation and shelter-in-place perimeters for the community.
Over the course of the night, the wind velocity and direction change. The Real-Time System updates the displays and emergency response efforts shift accordingly. As the event unfolds, the Real-Time System continues to provide a steady stream of critical intelligence needed to make good decisions. Lives are at stake.
Although workers and residents are shaken, no one is injured. Everyone is safe. Your safety team will later analyze the data archived by the Real-Time System to understand exactly what happened when. This information is relayed to corporate management as well as to the community and the press.
This is SAFER Systems.