Friday, May 6, 2011

ICI Explosives Factory


The Deer Park factory was again rejected for protection in the Heritage Register. Here is a site with a unique history and buildings, where dozens of industrial accidents have left about 30 workers blown to bits. It is an example of an industry where workers being maimed or killed was factored into the production strategy, and therefore probably profit and loss accounts. Something like the coal board's annual records of thousands of tons of coal won per death.

The dangers of making explosives are expressed in the design of the factory and its components, from the spread out small buildings hidden behind blast mounds and connected by 'clean ways' (based on the 'quantity distance' tables worked out by trial and error) to the individual remote controls placed outside concrete protective walls to protect the operator.

Commenced in about 1874, the site was the only Australian maker of dynamite- like explosives, only a few years after Alfred Nobel began his Ardeer factory in Scotland.

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