CSB report details how spilled chemical spill explosion killed four workers
December 19, 2019
On May 3, 2019, at a chemical manufacturing facility in Waukegan, Illinois, the operator of a tank in which a silicon hydride emulsion was being made suddenly yelled a warning. Alerted by the “unusual activity,” another operator and the Shift Supervisor – fellow employees of AB Specialty Silicones – ran over to the emulsions area. By the time they got there, the tank was overflowing with foam.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board's (CSB) is inviting comment on its just-issued Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding accidental release reporting.
The proposed rule describes when an owner or operator is required to file a report of an accidental release and the required content of such a report and is intended to ensure that the CSB receives rapid, accurate reports of any accidental release that meets established statutory criteria.
As those of you who read my posts on the Lac Megantic disaster where 47 people were incinerated by a “bomb train” that derailed in the middle of town, brakes on trains are complicated and often fallible safety devices. This is how they work: A brake pipe runs the length of the train which supplies air to reservoirs mounted on each of the cars.
In a stinging rebuke to the Environmental Protection Agency, a federal court has called EPA’s delay in implementing the Obama administration’s chemical disaster rule “arbitrary and capricious” and told the agency to implement the rule.
Ever since 9/11 and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, chemical plant security has been a top concern for national policy makers, the petro-chemical industry and the environemental community. But most of the concern has been about the threat of physical attack — bombs, missiles, etc.
An explosion and fire at a chemical plant in Texas this morning left at least two people injured – one with burns so severe he was transported by air to a medical facility for treatment. One person is reportedly missing.
Black Lung is Back: After almost being eradicated in the late 1990, black lung is back, with a vengeance. Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say they’ve identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever reported, according to an NPR story. “When I first implemented this clinic back in 1990, you would see … five [to] seven … PMF cases” a year, says Ron Carson, who directs Stone Mountain’s black lung program.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is one of the federal agencies slated for elimination under the 2019 budget proposal unveiled by President Trump today.
The CSB is an independent agency whose mission is to investigate industrial chemical accidents, determine their causes and make recommendations to plants, regulatory agencies such as OSHA and the EPA, industry organizations, and labor groups about ways to reduce the risk of similar accidents in the future.
The EPA this week proposed a fees rule under the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that it says will give the agency the resources it needs to review chemicals for safety.
Under the Frank Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, the proposed fees on certain chemical manufacturers, including importers and processors, would provide what the agency calls “a sustainable source of funding” for implementing the amended law.
A great deal of attention about chemical dangers in the workplace gets focused on inhalation as an exposure route, but skin contact – especially via busy hands -- can also result in significant harm to human health. In many cases, skin is a more significant route of exposure than the lung.
Among the articles in the January 2020 issue of ISHN Magazine, we review the most violated OSHA standards, Part 2 of Larry Wilson's 'Rethinking Traditional Safety' column series, insight from safety experts, and much more.