Archive for September, 2011
United States Chemical Safety Board “CSB”
Jeremy and Randy Williams of Garden City Ammonia Program discuss the CSB findings of a propane explosion in 2007. Some factors to blame was unqualified technicians, unqualified training and inadequate training for when things may go wrong such as an emergency. We will compare their findings and recommendations to the industrial ammonia refrigeration industry.
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 industrial facilities. Root causes are usually deficiencies in safety management systems, but can be any factor that would have prevented the accident if that factor had not occurred. Other accident causes often involve equipment failures, human errors, unforeseen chemical reactions or other hazards. The agency does not issue fines or citations, but does make recommendations to plants, regulatory agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), industry organizations, and labor groups. Congress designed the CSB to be non-regulatory and independent of other agencies so that its investigations might, where appropriate, review the effectiveness of regulations and regulatory enforcement.
The CSB investigative staff includes chemical and mechanical engineers, industrial safety experts, and other specialists with experience in the private and public sectors. Many investigators have years of chemical industry experience.
Both accident investigations and hazard investigations lead to new safety recommendations, which are the Board’s principal tool for achieving positive change. Recommendations are issued to government agencies, companies, trade associations, labor unions, and other groups. Implementation of each safety recommendation is tracked and monitored by CSB staff. When recommended actions have been completed satisfactorily, the recommendation may be closed by a Board vote.
The CSB is currently investigating several ammonia accidents and deaths.
For more information on the CSB please visit their website at
Half an Hour to Tragedy Propane Explosion Video Below
Ammonia NEP Citations
Jeremy Williams and staff of Garden City Ammonia Program discuss part two of the chemical and refinery NEP. This episode focuses on actual documented citations received by companies throughout the US based on the National Emphasis Program. We highly recommend listening to the first episode of explaining the NEP before this one. It was titled “OSHA’s National Emphasis Program: NEP”. We have added also some EPA citations regarding failure to report releases of ammonia.
Emphasis on Implementation over Documentation: “Based on past OSHA inspection history at refineries and large chemical plants, OSHA has typically found that these employers have extensive written documentation related to process safety management, but the implementation of the written documentation has been inadequate. Therefore, CSHO’s should focus on the implementation of the various PSM elements and ensure that employers do what they have committed to do in their PSM documentation.” Osha.gov
Visit this url for more information on GCAP’s NEP 40 hour course: http://www.ammoniatraining.com/nep
Please give us a call for any questions. 620.271.0037
For more information on the Petroleum Refinery NEP
For more information on the Chemical NEP
For more information on CCPS
OSHA explaining the NEP expanding permanently