An investigation has been launched into another toxic gas release at a Honeywell facility in the US

June 11, 2024

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announced that it is deploying a team of chemical incident investigators to investigate the release of highly toxic hydrofluoric acid (HF) that occurred on June 7, 2024, at the Honeywell International Fluorine Products facility in Geismar , Louisiana. As a result of this incident, an employee was seriously injured and this is the third serious incident that has occurred at the plant in the last three years.

Photo: Honeywell

Honeywell reported that a contract maintenance worker was exposed to HF while performing maintenance activities at the facility. Due to exposure, the employee was taken to hospital. HF is an extremely toxic and corrosive gas and liquid used in the refining and chemical industries.

CSB chairman Steve Owens said: “This is the third serious incident involving the release of HF at this facility in the last three years. This cannot happen again.”

The other two major incidents that occurred recently at the Honeywell Geismer facility were:

On October 21, 2021, a Honeywell employee died from high-frequency exposure to unprotected areas of the face, ears, and neck following a catastrophic seal failure in plant piping.

On January 23, 2023, a heat exchanger ruptured at the Honeywell facility, causing an explosion and releasing approximately 870 pounds of hydrogen fluoride (as well as 1,700 pounds of chlorine). Local authorities closed nearby highways and workers at the plant sheltered in place. Material losses at the facility are estimated at $4 million. No one was seriously injured or killed in this incident, but under other circumstances the release could have placed facility workers and nearby residents at serious risk.

The CSB initiated an investigation into the January 2023 incident earlier this year, which is currently ongoing.

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