Boiler, Pressure Vessel Accidents Post Increase

Accidents in 2000 involving boilers and unfired pressure vessels totaled 2,686, a 24% increase from 1999, according to information from the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. The statistics include power boilers, steam heating boilers, water heating boilers, and unfired pressure vessels.

Despite the increase in accidents, the number of deaths from the accidents dropped by 33% from the year before. In 2000, seven deaths were reported due to burner failure and another six deaths reported remain unknown or under investigation. One 2000 death was caused by faulty design or fabrication.

Operator error or poor maintenance were cited as the chief cause of the accidents that occurred in 2000, the third year that has been the leading cause. A total of 1,180 accidents were caused by operator error or poor maintenance.

The board lists causes in nine categories: safety valve, low-water condition, limit controls, improper installation, improper repair, faulty design or fabrication, operator error or poor maintenance, burner failure, and unknown or under investigation.

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