Updates on the Texas fertilizer plant explosion and the Bangladesh factory building collapse, a preview of AIHce 2013 and an OSHA change in who may accompany its inspectors on “walkarounds” were all featured news on ISHN.com this week:
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has established a Facebook page devoted to the April 17 West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion – and although a large photo of the memorial for the victims is prominent on the page, the ongoing FB conversation is mostly forward-looking.
The Texas Rangers and the McLennan County Sheriff's Department Officials are helping to conduct a criminal investigation into the April 17 explosion in West, Texas that killed 14 people and demolished hundreds of homes.
Overcoming resistance to near-miss reporting: Easily ignored incidents can be key to improving safety performance. Even though a near-miss incident on a job site may cause no injuries or property or equipment damage, it can give a company a heads’ up about a need for early intervention, thereby enabling it to improve its safety performance.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer said this week that the Environment and Public Works Committee she chairs will investigate the devastating West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people – many of them first responders – on April 18th.
While investigators in West, Texas, sift through the rubble of a fertilizer plant that exploded last week, killing 15 people, safety advocates are calling for stricter government oversight of potentially hazardous sites like that one. The operator of the plant, West Fertilizer Co., did file an emergency response plan update in 2011 with the EPA listing anhydrous ammonia on site, but did not indicate there was a risk of fire or explosion at the plant.
The spectacle of frightened elderly nursing home patients being rescued from debris following last week’s explosion at a Texas fertilizer plant had a jarring affect on many Americans. So did photos of debris where approximately 80 homes once stood, and pictures of an apartment complex that had its windows blasted out by the explosion.
Worst case scenario: Brief release of gas, no injuries
April 22, 2013
The West Fertilizer plant that was the site of last week’s devastating explosion and loss of life had at least 50,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia onsite -- yet the site’s operators told the EPA and public safety officials that it posed no risk of fire or explosion, according to the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH).
The West Fertilizer Company facility that exploded in a deadly blast last week had not been inspected by OSHA in at least 10 years, according to advocacy group Public Citizen, which says too many similar facilities operate “with very little oversight” from regulatory agencies.