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CSB Wins Awards for Safety Videos on Imperial Sugar Explosion and Combustible Dust

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) received awards for two safety videos at the annual Television, Internet, and Video Association of DC (TIVA DC) dinner on Saturday, November 13. An animation depicting a massive sugar refinery explosion which took 14 lives won a Gold Award for best animation in its category. The animation appeared in a CSB safety video entitled Inferno: Dust Explosion at Imperial Sugar. Another CSB safety video, Combustible Dust: An Insidious Hazard was presented with the Silver Award for best educational/training video.

Combustible Dust is a 29-minute film focusing on lessons learned from four CSB investigations, of the Imperial Sugar explosion in Port Wentworth, Georgia; the Hayes Lemmerz explosion and fire in Huntington, Indiana; West Pharmaceuticals Services in Kinston, North Carolina; and the CTA Acoustics explosion and fire in Corbin, Kentucky. The video uses interviews with CSB investigators and victims’ family members to explain how dust from industrial processes can fuel devastating explosions.

In the video, former CSB Chairman John Bresland says, “It is our hope that company executives, safety managers, and labor groups will take 29 minutes to view this video and ask themselves, ‘Could this happen at our operation?’ and then take action to eliminate dust hazards from their facilities.”

Inferno: Dust Explosion at Imperial Sugar was produced following the fire and explosion at Imperial Sugar on February 7, 2008, which claimed the lives of 14 workers, injured 36, and caused extensive property damage. In that video, Bresland states, “The accident at Imperial Sugar was the deadliest industrial dust explosion in the United States in decades. It illustrates the extremely serious nature of combustible dust hazards.”

The TIVA award was presented before an audience of hundreds of regional video and media professionals. Following the awards ceremony, CSB Managing Director Daniel Horowitz said, “This important recognition of our work speaks to the continuing impact of the CSB's thorough, scientific, independent investigations and the commitment of our staff and Board members to state-of-the-art communication of safety information.”

Horowitz added, “It is the mission of the CSB to disseminate lessons learned from chemical and industrial accidents and to prevent similar tragedies in the future; the CSB’s video program has distributed hundreds of thousands of DVDs to industry leaders, workers, and communities around the world to increase their knowledge of chemical hazards and apply the lessons to their real world situations.”

CSB videos are available online at www.csb.gov, and on www.youtube.com. They can be ordered free of charge as a two-DVD set by filling out the request form in the Video Room of www.csb.gov.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes like equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems. The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit website: www.csb.gov.

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