Last month, we summarized an article that appeared in Process Safety Progress magazine that illustrated the tragedies that can occur if gas fired industrial ovens and dryers are not correctly inspected, maintained and tested. The article described how an employee at a manufacturing plant was killed when he tried to restart a gas fired oven that was not functioning properly. The explosion was caused, in part, by a malfunctioning flame detector that allowed natural gas to accumulate in the oven.

We are reminded once again of the dangers of faulty equipment, as recently in Appleton, Wisconsin, one person was admitted to the hospital with serious injuries after an industrial oven exploded at a commercial bakery. The facility manufactures fully baked frozen bread products and services food distributors and restaurants in five states.

The explosion occurred on April 4th, 2012 at 10:00 am. A news article indicated that a safety valve reportedly malfunctioned, which allowed for natural gas to build up inside the oven. The employee then attempted to light the oven, which ignited the gas and caused the door to blow off and strike the employee. Fortunately, there was no fire following the explosion. The employee was admitted into the hospital with serious injuries. There are no updates indicating the status of his condition at this time.

This incident is just another example of why it’s important to maintain, inspect, and test gas fired industrial oven and dryer equipment in your facility. This type of equipment is designed with several controls to help make certain your employees and your facility are protected. Periodic attention is critical in order to maintain the overall reliability of your systems. Harrington Group will soon post  a blog that will discuss five key elements to ensuring proper burner control function throughout the life of your equipment.  Check our blog site periodically to be sure not to miss this.