Search

10 Hurt in Ice Cream Facility Hazmat Unloading Explosion

Posted on 7/24/2021 by Lauren Scott and Roseanne Bottone

Ten employees are recovering after sustaining injuries related to a liquid nitrogen explosion at a Kentucky ice cream facility last week, on July 21. The incident occurred as a truck was unloading the chemical into a storage tank at the facility. The cause of the explosion is currently under investigation.

Nine workers were released from local hospitals the day after the explosion, with one still undergoing medical care. The company is currently working with local, State, and Federal officials to provide a complete investigation on the blast.

Although the facility is owned by a nationwide ice cream chain, the site at which the incident occurred typically makes ingredients for a third-party company. The facility uses liquid nitrogen to flash freeze ice cream products. Production is expected to resume at the plant soon.

How Liquid Nitrogen Explodes

When liquid nitrogen vaporizes, it expands by a factor of nearly 700. That means 1 liter of liquid nitrogen will expand to fill nearly 25 cubic feet with nitrogen gas. This expansion can cause a sealed container to explode. The nitrogen gas also displaces oxygen and can cause suffocation.

Fourteen people died from asphyxiation in liquid nitrogen related incidents between 2012 and 2020. The Kentucky ice cream facility incident follows a tragic liquid nitrogen leak in an Atlanta-area food processing plant earlier this year that killed six employees.

Hazmat Transportation Includes Unloading

Incidents during loading and unloading are not uncommon. In 2016, a cloud of chlorine gas floated through a Kansas community after an incident that occurred during unloading of sulfuric acid at a local grain processing facility.

US DOT’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) require hazmat training for any employee who can directly affect the safe transportation of hazardous materials. The cycle of transportation begins with loading the hazmat, including its movement and storage incidental to movement, and ends after the hazmat has been unloaded at its destination.   

A person who unloads a truck of a Division 2.2 compressed gas like Nitrogen, refrigerated liquid (UN 1977) performs a regulated activity and must receive general awareness, security awareness, and function-specific training to do the job properly.  In addition, the unloader must receive hazmat safety training to be aware of the material’s hazards, know how to protect themselves, and to be prepared to handle accidents and emergencies (see 49 CFR 172.704(a)(1)—(5).

Prevent Transportation Incidents with Effective Hazmat Training

Training is not just a good management practice; it’s a legally mandated requirement.

Safety concerns are the primary reason for providing thorough and effective hazmat training. The failure to do so can result in hefty fines just for the training violation. Currently, the minimum civil penalty for a training violation is $508 per employee, per day of the deficiency.

Bring a Lion instructor to your site to present required hazmat training for your shipping team! Get answers to your site’s unique questions and focus on the materials, situations, and job responsibilities you deal with every day.

Request a quote for your group.  
 

Tags: hazardous materials, hazmat unloading, liquid nitrogen, UN 1977

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Lion provided an excellent introduction to environmental regulations, making the transition to a new career as an EHS specialist less daunting of a task. Drinking from a fire hose when the flow of water is lessened, is much more enjoyable!

Stephanie Weathers

SHE Specialist

Our instructor was very dynamic and kept everyone's interest. Hazmat shipping can be a dry, complicated topic but I was engaged the entire time.

Kimberly Arnao

Senior Director of EH&S

The instructor created a great learning environment.

Avinash Thummadi

CAD & Environmental Manager

Lion was very responsive to my initial questions and the website was user friendly.

Michael Britt

Supply Chain Director

You blew the doors off the competition!

Stephen Bieschke

Facilities Manager

I really enjoy your workshops. Thank you for such a great program and all the help Lion has provided me over the years!

George Chatman

Hazardous Material Pharmacy Technician

I attended training from another provider and learned absolutely nothing. Lion is much better. Hands down.

Nicole Eby

Environmental Specialist

I can't say enough how pleased I was with this course! Everything finally makes sense.

Kim Graham

Lab Manager

I have been to other training companies, but Lion’s material is much better and easier to understand.

Mark Abell

Regional Manager

The instructor does a great job at presenting material in an approachable way. I have been able to save my company about $30,000 in the last year with what I have learned from Lion!

Curtis Ahonen

EHS&S Manager

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

In-flight hazmat incidents can be disastrous. This guide gives 5 tips for first-time air shippers to consider before offering dangerous goods for transportation on passenger or cargo aircraft.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.