John E. Conover, Jr.,
Please note that we cannot work in New York State. Anyplace else in the world is ok.
The Exploding Drum
We got a call from a trucking company. They had a yard in Lindenhurst where they would store the trucks and lots of trailers. Some of the trailers had stuff inside, and were to be shipped somewhere.
They were worried about one of these trailers- they did not know what was in it, and something was dripping out.
We went there and found out the trailer was filled with drums of assorted chemicals and many cans of paint.
The state hired a contractor to remove the materials from the trailer and to make it safe for shipping to a disposal facility.
If any of the 55 gallon drums were dented or damaged, they had to be put inside 80 gallon "overpack" drums.
The dozens and dozens of one gallon paint cans also had to go into 55 gallon drums, but to save drums and to save money, the one gallon cans were opened up and poured into the 55 gallon drums. (if we had put the unopened cans into the drums, we would have lots of wasted space inside the drums)
The only complication was that the paint was epoxy paint- that meant that this paint came in 2 gallon cans and you had to mix the 2 cans together before you used it. One can was labeled "A" and the other can was "B". When the A and the B were mixed together, there would be a chemical reaction that would dry the paint and make it strong.
So, the guys had to be careful to put the "A" paints in one drum and the "B" paints in another(to prevent the chemical reaction). What nobody noticed was that the paints were not all from the same manufacturer, and the other brand of paint had reversed the A's and the B's (one is the hardener).
So, on day 2 of this work, they noticed that one of the drums that had been filled up had a bulging top- they guy tried to loosen it up and the top flew off and this icky multicolored stuff flew out and slimed him. It was good that he was wearing the tyvek suit and the respirator.
You gotta be careful with this hazardous waste stuff.
Right after the drum exploded and slimed the guy.
..... and the excess had to be shoveled out.
Ray Zeltman, R.I.P.
"The Buddha and his disciples should wear robes of discarded cloth and use bowls made of humble materials".................-Rujing