The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has formally notified OSHA that it finds “unacceptable” OSHA’s response to CSB recommendations to broaden the regulation of reactive chemicals in the workplace and to compile data on reactive chemical accidents.

In a letter to OSHA chief John Henshaw, CSB Chair Carolyn Merritt said the board will continue to seek action from OSHA on the requested actions. Merritt said the board was “disappointed” that OSHA had given no indication when it might make a decision on moving forward to extend coverage of reactives.

Specifically, the CSB asked OSHA in 2002 to amend its process safety management standard (PSM) to achieve more comprehensive control of reactive hazards that have caused numerous catastrophic incidents and killed scores of workers over the past two decades.

The recommendation followed the release of a two-year CSB hazard investigation entitled “Improving Reactive Chemical Management.” The study called reactive chemical accidents a “significant chemical safety problem.” Research focused on 167 serious accidents over 20 years that caused 108 fatalities and hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage.