CAP_320_BB_International_Comm_Cases_f10 - International...

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International Communications INTR-1 Chemicals Can disaster U.S. based Chemicals Can (CC) is the 5 th largest chemical manufacturer in the world. Their plants operate according to the regulations in whatever country in which they are located. This governs health and safety policies as well as getting government pre-approval before any construction or expansion projects. Such was the case with Chemicals Can’s facility in Thailand. A new facility was built there last year. During this project the Thai government insisted that the plant be labor intensive so to provide much needed employment for the local population. Therefore CC had not installed the computer systems in use at CC plants in the U.S. and other countries. In addition, as part of an agreement to manufacture chemicals in Thailand, CC owned only 50.9% of the company there with the other 49.1% being owned by the Thai government and private citizens of the country. Plant operations were managed solely by the Thais. Two days ago a leak in a valve was noted by an employee. Those in the factory were complaining of eye irritation, burning, and tearing as well as some breathing issues. They were told to keep working. Within an hour of this a control room operator noted a spike in tank pressure a tank that contained liquefied methyl isocyanine – a pesticide that is deadly if one is exposed to too much of it. A safety valve in a neighboring tank should have opened releasing a solvent that would neutralize the toxic chemical. It did not do so. Also, emergency lights and sirens failed to function. The tank exploded and killed 1,700 residents of the town. Another 3,500 were hospitalized and 75,000 were treated for injuries related to contact with the gas. Most who died were living in illegal shanty towns located too near the plant. ( It will eventually be found two years from now that that cause was employee sabotage – but this fact won’t help you now. It is called internationally as the worst industrial disaster ever
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This note was uploaded on 05/16/2011 for the course CAP 321 taught by Professor Professorwalz during the Spring '11 term at Grand Valley State.

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CAP_320_BB_International_Comm_Cases_f10 - International...

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