US Chemical Safety Board

US Chemical Safety Board An independent federal agency investigating chemical accidents to protect workers, the public, and the environment.
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Operating as usual

04/20/2021

CSB Will Hold Public Board Meeting on May 4th to Release Final Investigation Report

Washington D.C., April 20, 2021 - The U.S. Chemical Safety Board announced Monday its intent to hold a public board meeting on May 4, 2021, 11 a.m. EDT, to release its final investigation report into a fatal incident which occurred in Odessa, TX, on October 26, 2019. The incident occurred when a release of water containing hydrogen sulfide—a toxic gas—occurred at a facility called a “waterflood station” located in Odessa, TX, and operated by Aghorn Operating, Inc. (Aghorn). The toxic release fatally injured one worker and one member of the public. The CSB staff will present its final report findings and recommendations followed by a vote by the CSB’s board.

Chairman Katherine Lemos said, “As we approach the first anniversary of my tenure here at the CSB, I am looking forward to bringing several of our investigations to completion. This publicly viewable Board Meeting is the first investigation report action of several to come in the next year. The staff has worked tirelessly to complete the steps leading up to the report presentation and this marks a new energy at the CSB.”

View the Events Section of the CSB's Website: https://www.csb.gov/events/

View the Aghorn Investigation Information Page: https://www.csb.gov/aghorn-energy-fatal-chemical-release-/

This is an update regarding the April 8th fire and explosion at the Yenkin-Majestic Paint and OPC Polymers Corporation m...
04/13/2021

This is an update regarding the April 8th fire and explosion at the Yenkin-Majestic Paint and OPC Polymers Corporation manufacturing site in Columbus, OH

Incident Information:

- A review of security video allowed the investigation team to develop a more precise time of the incident. The first event (loss of containment) occurred at 12:02 a.m. EDT (system time) and the video cameras stopped recording at 12:04 a.m. EDT (system time).
- Yenkin-Majestic provided the investigation team with an overview of the resin manufacturing process. The process is called alkyd resin manufacturing which utilizes the company’s own technology.
- Materials are mixed in a metallic kettle which contains an agitator and is heated by a furnace before it goes to a scale tank and then to product storage. There are a total of six kettles: four are heated by gas furnaces and two are steam heated.
- The incident occurred during the batch production in Kettle #3.
Kettle #3 has a rated capacity of 20,900 lbs. and is heated by a gas furnace.
- The fire suppression system in a portion of the paint production facility was activated during the event. The investigation team verified there was no fire event in the adjacent paint production facility.
- The east wall of the paint production facility sustained damaged as a result of the explosion event in the adjacent OPC Resin facility.

Investigative Activities as of April 13, 2021

- Yenkin-Majestic engaged the services of a structural engineer to assess the structural integrity of the OPC Resin facility.
- Removing the catch tank on top of the damaged OPC Resin building is scheduled for Wednesday April 14, 2021. The catch tank is part of a safety and environmental system used to contain unplanned discharges from a processing vessel.
- Finalizing the Evidence and Site Control (ESCA) document.
Interviews with manager, company leadership, engineers, and operators

This is an update regarding the April 8th fire and explosion at the Yenkin-Majestic Paint and OPC Polymers Corporation manufacturing site in Columbus, OH

Incident Information:

- A review of security video allowed the investigation team to develop a more precise time of the incident. The first event (loss of containment) occurred at 12:02 a.m. EDT (system time) and the video cameras stopped recording at 12:04 a.m. EDT (system time).
- Yenkin-Majestic provided the investigation team with an overview of the resin manufacturing process. The process is called alkyd resin manufacturing which utilizes the company’s own technology.
- Materials are mixed in a metallic kettle which contains an agitator and is heated by a furnace before it goes to a scale tank and then to product storage. There are a total of six kettles: four are heated by gas furnaces and two are steam heated.
- The incident occurred during the batch production in Kettle #3.
Kettle #3 has a rated capacity of 20,900 lbs. and is heated by a gas furnace.
- The fire suppression system in a portion of the paint production facility was activated during the event. The investigation team verified there was no fire event in the adjacent paint production facility.
- The east wall of the paint production facility sustained damaged as a result of the explosion event in the adjacent OPC Resin facility.

Investigative Activities as of April 13, 2021

- Yenkin-Majestic engaged the services of a structural engineer to assess the structural integrity of the OPC Resin facility.
- Removing the catch tank on top of the damaged OPC Resin building is scheduled for Wednesday April 14, 2021. The catch tank is part of a safety and environmental system used to contain unplanned discharges from a processing vessel.
- Finalizing the Evidence and Site Control (ESCA) document.
Interviews with manager, company leadership, engineers, and operators

04/08/2021

The CSB is deploying to the scene of a fatal explosion and fire at the Yenkin-Majestic Paints and OPC Polymers manufacturing site in Columbus, Ohio.

According to initial reports, an explosion and two-alarm fire erupted at the paint plant around midnight on Thursday April 8th. Approximately forty employees were believed to be working on site at the time of the incident -- one of those employees was killed and eight were transported to area hospitals for injuries. The blast shook neighboring buildings and at least one nearby business sustained damage.

The CSB will provide updates as additional information becomes available.

10/26/2018
Emergency Response Safety Message

A CSB safety message highlighting emergency response efforts at Husky Energy's Superior Refinery during the April 26, 2018, explosion and subsequent asphalt fire. The CSB's investigation is ongoing and a final report including findings and recommendations will be released in 2019. For more information, please visit CSB.gov.

Check out the US Chemical Safety Board's new digest on one of its older investigation - a 1998 propane tank explosion - ...
10/23/2018

Check out the US Chemical Safety Board's new digest on one of its older investigation - a 1998 propane tank explosion - https://bit.ly/2AodgrD

Interim Executive Kristen Kulinowski speaks at Texas Tech University  Texas Tech University Texas Tech University - Whit...
10/04/2018

Interim Executive Kristen Kulinowski speaks at Texas Tech University Texas Tech University Texas Tech University - Whitacre College of Engineering Texas Tech Chemical Engineering

Interim Executive Kristen Kulinowski speaks at Texas Tech University Texas Tech University Texas Tech University - Whitacre College of Engineering Texas Tech Chemical Engineering

09/18/2018

Check out video excerpts from a previously released safety message focusing on "winterization"

Images from the Pryor Trust Gas Well Investigation
08/16/2018

Images from the Pryor Trust Gas Well Investigation

Images from the Pryor Trust Gas Well Investigation

07/27/2018

Learn more about working at the US Chemical Safety Board
https://www.csb.gov/assets/1/6/hiring_announcement.pdf

Today we released our final investigation report into the August 31, 2017, fire at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, ...
05/24/2018
CSB Releases Arkema Final Report - General News - News | CSB

Today we released our final investigation report into the August 31, 2017, fire at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, following Hurricane Harvey. Learn more here: https://www.csb.gov/csb-releases-arkema-final-report/

CSB Releases Arkema Final Report Tweet   Houston, TX, May 24, 2018: The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released its final investigation report into the August 31, 2017, fire at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas. In the days leading up to the incident, an unprecedented amount of rain fell...

05/02/2018
The Chlorine Institute

It's May - which means pool season is just around the corner. If you are a homeowner with a pool, or a commercial pool manager, be sure to watch this short video from The Chlorine Institute on proper pool chemical handling.

Learn how to safely handle your pool chemicals this pool season by watching this short clip on proper chemical handling from The Pool Chemical Safety Video available on YouTube!

Husky Energy Oil Refinery Investigation UpdateWashington, DC, May 2, 2018 –  A four-person investigative team from the U...
05/02/2018
U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board | CSB

Husky Energy Oil Refinery Investigation Update

Washington, DC, May 2, 2018 – A four-person investigative team from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is investigating the scene of the April 26, 2018, explosion at the Husky Energy oil refinery in Superior, Wisconsin. The refinery was shutting down in preparation for a five-week maintenance turnaround when the incident occurred. Several workers sought medical attention and thousands of residents near the refinery were asked to evacuate due to heavy smoke.

The investigative team arrived in Superior the evening of April 26. To-date they are conducting interviews and reviewing evidence, including incident photos and documents. The initial, onsite phase of the investigation is expected to take several weeks. During this stage, the investigative team will focus on the following tasks:

• Documenting and collecting physical evidence.
• Photographing the refinery and the incident scene.
• Interviewing Husky employees and contract employees involved in activities potentially pertaining to the incident.
• Obtaining documents related to the tasks being performed at the refinery around the time of the incident, including work plans, site safety plans, hazard analyses, and job safety analyses.
• Obtaining construction, maintenance, and inspection records of equipment suspected to be involved in the incident.
• Reviewing the effectiveness of emergency response to the incident including evacuation efforts.

Review of the preliminary investigation results will determine the need for additional materials testing or interviews with employees.

The CSB will continue to provide updates to the public as the investigation unfolds.

The CSB is an independent, non-regulatory federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical incidents. 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 such as 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 facility management, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. Visit our website, www.csb.gov.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the agency's board members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The CSB conducts root cause investigations of chemical accidents at fixed industr...

At Didion Milling, the CSB determined:1) Workers believed the conditions at the mill on the night of the incident were “...
04/30/2018

At Didion Milling, the CSB determined:

1) Workers believed the conditions at the mill on the night of the incident were “normal,” and up until just moments before the explosions, workers either were unaware of any problems or assumed their troubleshooting efforts would reveal a typical and manageable situation.
2) Prior to the explosion workers reported seeing and smelling smoke coming from the facility.
3) Several workers entered various mill buildings to locate the source of the smoke, but were unable to immediately find the cause.
4) Approximately 15 to 30 minutes before the explosions, workers focused their inspections on a piece of equipment called a gap mill. Workers then observed an air filter blow off of the gap mill’s air intake line, resulting in corn dust filling the air and a three- to four-foot flame shooting from the air intake line.
5) Around 11:00 PM, one or more explosions occurred. The explosions caused the complete collapse of four of the nine buildings that make up the Didion facility; the remaining five were severely damaged.
6) Five workers died as a result of the explosions and the collapse of the buildings. The other 14 workers sustained injuries that ranged from minor to life-threatening.

04/30/2018
www.csb.gov

Today is the last day of our April emphasis on combustible dust. Our 2006 Combustible Dust Study identified 281 incidents between 1980 and 2005 that killed 119 workers & injured 718. Since then we've conducted 5 dust investigations in which 27 workers were killed and 61 injured. These incidents can be prevented. Read our fact sheet on combustible dust safety here:https://www.csb.gov/assets/1/6/csb_2018_factsheet_combustibledust_05.pdf

Statement on Workers' Memorial Day from Chairperson Vanessa Allen SutherlandOn April 28, 2018, our nation will mark Work...
04/27/2018

Statement on Workers' Memorial Day from Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland

On April 28, 2018, our nation will mark Workers' Memorial Day. This is the day we remember those working men and women who died on the job. On behalf of our entire CSB family, I join the families of our lost workers in remembering your loved ones and joining you in your efforts to honor your family members by striving to make our workplaces safer.

Throughout our twenty-year history of driving chemical safety change to protect people and the environment, we meet workers across many industries and hear about their efforts to promote safety in their workplaces. Many of them are directly affected by a tragic accident in their workplaces or communities. Other workers are implementing lessons learned from an accident so that they do not have to witness a similar tragedy in the future.

Throughout our investigations, we’ve seen a reoccurring theme that making workplaces safer is often the result of the positive impact of worker participation. As experts in the potential hazards of the work they perform, workers are a vital knowledge resource and have much to gain from a successful safety program and everything to lose if the program fails. Therefore, they are motivated to make the safety program successful.

Every effective worker participation program also has worker protections in place. Eight years ago, the U.S. experienced one of the worst offshore drilling disasters with a well blowout and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Eleven workers were killed and seventeen were seriously injured. There was extensive environmental damage to the Gulf Coast. It was one of the most extensive investigations in CSB’s 20-year history. One of the resulting recommendations from our investigation called on the Department of the Interior to implement worker participation/protection measures, such as the authority to stop work when hazardous conditions exist and whistleblower protection, in offshore drilling operations (CSB Recommendation No. 2010-10-I-OS-R15). Specifically, we urged that these safety activities include effective processes for workers to identify safety hazards without the risk of retaliatory actions. Workplaces – like an offshore drilling rig – should be free from fear and retaliation when workers raise safety concerns. Management and the workforce should encourage and engage in safety discussions in all work places.

It is unfortunate that eight years later, we have not seen any action to implement our recommendations. That’s why the CSB encouraged Congress to enact legislation to promote greater collaboration by the appropriate Federal regulatory agencies to address this significant safety gap. Strong worker participation and whistleblower protections, coupled with stop work authority and well-implemented safety management systems, are essential elements to promote safe workplaces and to keep the nation safe from chemical disasters.

Safety is a shared responsibility. Greater collaboration between workers, management, industry and government, can create safe and efficient workplaces. On this Workers’ Memorial Day, let’s take time to “Remember the dead [and] Fight for the living,” by acknowledging the workers who participate in initiatives to promote a safe work environment for themselves and for their communities.

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Comments

I would like to thank all of the skilled and hardworking staff at the CSB. Here in the UK we have had our own disasters with the Flixborough disaster being of the most material use for you (in my experience - I am a medicinal chemist). I am still shocked by events such as the Texas City refinery explosion. The fact that sensors were KNOWN tn be out of action or unreliable. Truly, the TC ccidnt reminds me or of the Bhopal disaster or even the Kyshtym disaster rather than a developed nation. Accidents happen but I do not see the CSB having the ability to fine or even suspend activity at unsafe plants. In my job, my safety level is base on a simple metric whtch is 'would I feel happy for my wife and son to take this drug). Without rambing on too much, rather than using the traditional ADME cycle, I have always chosen ADRE (absorbtion, distribution, REDISTRIBUTION, excretion'. Metabolites will vary due to genetif factors (for example) so if my candidates work with one genetic group, it seems (for 35 years) to have worked. But I think you guys are amazing - I wish you evey luck in the future. Sean
Lllife is always beautiful when you be with the true person you love. For almost a year my lover had broke up with me and I was lonely and sad luckily I was directed to a very kind and Great spell caster Dr Balogun who helped me to bring back my lover to me and today I am with him now and happy together and very grateful for what you have done for me Dr Balogun via OR what app on +234 816 886 9327 His Gmail : [email protected]
Hello There, I was on u tube watching different videos when I happened upon 1 of your accident videos., and after watching about 10 of them so far, and I’d like to compliment you on your extreme professional safety videos👍👍👍 I in awe at how many companies and organizations are so lax in safety and it’s importance... wow 😳 So, just wanted to compliment you such good work. Sincerely Arthur
Third confirmed death in Texas well blowout
Tpc chemical plant in Texas. Do we have representation there already?
The nation is indebted to you, CSB. Thank you for your hard work in emphasizing safe practices in places where hazardous materials are present. Because of you, hopefully someday, this world will be a safer place to work.
Have you seen this? Is the chemical plant going to blow up? #WeAreKoch
Hand Safety at
Las recomendaciones de los accidentes investigados que han ocurridos en las plantas de proceso de los Estados Unidos.
Dear US Chemical Safety Board, we just published this article about unsafe work conditions with a quote of yours in it. Will you share it with your followers? http://bit.ly/2Pbz8MM
Where can I find a chart or resource to store chemicals? I work in a lab and we are needing to get new flammable cabinets. Mostly we work with Xylenes, Methanol 95 and 100%, and the stains used in histology such as Eosin, Methylene Blue, Ammonium hydroxide, Isoprophyl alcohol. I know that there are chemicals that cannot cohabitate in the same flammable cabinet. We will be buying 2 cabinets. What kind of resource would you suggest I consult to correctly store the chemicals?