Since the tragic accident in 2005, Eugene has been spearheading the worldwide effort to improve industry understanding about silane. As part of this effort he has coordinated a series of safety seminars around the world. 10 have been held so far.
The next one is May 17, 2012 in Shanghai Click Here for Brochure
Click the following links for the presentations
I am very disappointed that he didn’t do a more balanced article. He only used 2 items from the many that we spoke about. I’m also surprised how this appears to be a advertisement rather than a technical article which Scientific American is known for
Hundreds of people have been trained on silane safety through the "Feel the Heat" program. Students properly dressed in PPE. experience a silane flamer or popper while removing the cylinder valve vaportight cap, releasing high pressure silane. They are awarded the patch which is an embrodiery of the infamous picture of Eugene's hand that has been used in numerous silane safety presentations by others. (Picture taken by Lester Gerver in 1994) This is used in 3 of the 4 safety seminar brochures above
Another successful silane safety presentation. A 90 minute "Update on Silane Regulations/Standards" and 90 minute "Recent Silane Incidents" was held at SEMI headquarters, San Jose, CA on April 15, 2009. Over 50 fire service and local industry attendees
A 7 hour comprehensive Silane 102 class was held at NREL, Golden, CO
I just posted this on the SEMI EHS Grapevine. Some of you are on that distribution list so I apologize for the duplication
As 2011 winds down I want to reflect on one of my favorite topics, silane safety. In 2011, I was given access to details, pictures and videos of 4 fairly significant silane incidents that occurred in 2010 & 2011, I’m sure there were more. Since many of them were shared in confidence I cannot publish the details or pictures. I can however state that in 3 of the incidents, a pigtail pressurized with silane was disconnected. In 2 cases the operator was injured because of a detonation while in the third incident the operator escaped without injury but the fire burned for over 8 hours.
Can this happen at your site? Disconnecting a cylinder with pressure on the pigtail is a “probable” event for all users. The probability decreases with increasing safeguards and reducing cylinder changes. The problem with silane is that the consequences are immediate and potentially more severe. As the new year begins, it might be a good time to review your systems and procedures with this in mind. The newer 2 cylinder silane gas cabinets as a best practice have a full metal wall and a separate door for each cylinder, some have a cylinder valve outlet guard, these features will help to reduce the probability.
In my continuing efforts to pass on lessons learned I wrote a number of safety alerts and articles in 2011.