The Tianjin explosion that killed more than 100 people and left more than 1000 homeless is still under investigation. As the investigation continues, more facts are uncovered. Area news stated that more than 70 times the legal amount of sodium cyanide was found to be stored within the site of the deadly blasts. Sodium cyanide is extremely toxic to humans, raising questions about why so much was being stored and who allowed the storage.
Investigators found that Ruihai Logistics received their permit to handle hazardous chemicals just two months prior to the explosion. Between October 2014 and June 2015, the company did not have legal permission to handle such dangerous materials, but did so regardless of not having a permit. Authorities have detained 10 Ruihai Logistics employees, including company president Yu Xuewei and vice-chariman Dong Shexuan. A former deputy mayor of Tianjin and the director of the State Administration of Work Safety are currently under investigation as well.
According to regulation, hazardous chemicals stored at the Tianjin warehouse such as sodium cyanide, calcium carbide, ammonium nitrate, and potassium nitrate, are not permitted to be stored within 1 kilometer of public buildings, major transport roads, railways, waterways, and industrial or mining enterprises. In this case, the warehouse was located just 600 meters (0.6 km) from the nearest residential building.
With so many regulations being violated, authorities in China must focus their attention on the country’s safety culture. Rules and regulations are set in place for a reason. At the end of the day, business is about people. Following rules and regulations protects people. How China responds to the Tianjin explosion is still to be seen, but hopefully lessons have been learned. Once the smoke clears, Ruihai Logistics will need to update their safety program. Quantum’s Incident Reporting, Investigation, and Corrective Action Modules allows users to track the data of what happened at the scene of an incident leading to the root cause and corrective actions. Anyone at Ruihai Logistics interested?