Case Summary

Student’s Name

Institutional Affiliation


It suffices to state that a series of events caused the fire that led to the death of one of the employees. It is evident that the fire tragedy and the man’s death arose from the fact that various professionals did not observe workplace safety measures. The summary highlights the different faults that led to the fire incident. For instance, the summary would review the engineering controls, the work practices, policies and procedures, administrative controls, hysteria practices, medical surveillance and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).

Firstly, the engineering controls encompass the materials and design of the defective drums that led to the fire incident. For instance, manufacturers of the fruit concentrate could have noted that the content reacts with metals to produce hydrogen gas. As a result, the sterile coating that was used to prevent direct contact between the drum’s metal and the concentrate could have been made effective. This can be achieved by ensuring that the coating has the recommended properties and thickness to prevent the reaction even after the drums have been abandoned for a long period of time. Furthermore, it is also appropriate to opine that less reactive metals could have been used to manufacture the drum rather than using reactive ones. By so doing, the failure in the sterile coating could not have led to the sequence of events that led to the catastrophe.

Regarding the work practices, it is certain that one employee did not observe the appropriate procedure before trying to open the drum. Apparently, the company exhibited failure with regard to training its employees on effective safety practices that governed their operation. The worker using the grinder did not exhibit the necessary safety skills while trying to open the drum. The supplier portrays responsibility when he recalls the drums. It is evident that the supplier understood that the fruit concentrate forms an acid that reacts with the drum’s metal to form hydrogen gas. Obviously, hydrogen gas is explosive and causes fire when ignited. Therefore, the organization could have ensured that employees do not use any procedures that lead to the generation of sparks to open the drums. Secondly, the grinder is not designed to work under environments that contain flammable gases.

In relation to administrative controls, it is evident that the company’s administration did not train the workers on safety practices regarding the exercise. The company should have notified the workers; with the help of the supervisor concerning the possibility of the existence of hydrogen gas in the drums that was responsible for the difficulty experienced in opening them. Therefore, it is mandatory that a company should always use trained administrators to monitor the activities of unskilled or semi-skilled employees in the organization.

Workplace training should also devolve to all employees in order to avert the occurrence of unexpected negative events. For instance, the use of PPE could have prevented the death of the employee. Apparently, if the employees had been notified concerning the possibility of an explosion, they could have used protective fire equipment during the exercise. The equipments encompass helmets and protective jackets that prevent direct contact between the fire and the body of an employee.

The company could have adopted proper hysteria practices. For instance, the operations manager could have ensured that the workplace is clean and organized. By so doing, the unseen three drums could not have been unaccounted for. Furthermore, supervisors and managers could be in a position of monitoring the activities of an employee from far distances. Lastly, medical surveillance is also mandatory in an organization. It ensures that proper medical practices are followed by employees at the workplace.

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