We provide professional, impartial and independent advice and qualified expert opinion to support the legal process of resolving cases that involve flammability, explosibility, combustibility and most areas of process safety. We utilize a science-based approach in our litigation support work that is backed by decades of industry experience including numerous explosion and fire investigations and formal safety studies.
Fire, explosion and/or runaway chemical reaction hazards exist where flammable or combustible gases, liquids, powders or reactive materials are handled, processed, and manufactured. These hazards have led to catastrophic events in the U.S. and globally causing fatalities, injuries and environmental and business impacts. Industries that can be impacted by these hazards include the chemical, pharmaceutical, food, petrochemical, metals, wood and pulp/paper.
One important component for a proper understanding and investigation of process safety-related incidents is having appropriate data on the flammability, electrostatic properties, reactivity, and explosion characteristics of the materials that have been handled, processed, manufactured and stored at the site.
When investigating an incident, it’s important to consider the following guidelines to ensure that you have appropriate and applicable data including:
- Selection of a representative material for testing and analysis
- Use of a certified/accredited lab to perform the testing
- Selection or design of appropriate test methods
- Do not assume the flammability or non-flammability of a material without valid basis
- Do not use old test results, particularly if there have been changes – albeit minor – to the material and process under investigation
- Do not rely on published literature or data as this may not be representative of the material under investigation
- Do not use data whose sample origins and test methods are not properly defined or do not precisely match the material at the site