The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) recently voted to update the status of 16 recommendations resulting from 12 accident investigations, including key safety improvements resulting from the 2006 CAI/Arnel fire and explosion in Danvers, MA and the 2005 BP Texas City refinery fire and explosion. All recently voted on recommendations are highlighted on a newly launched webpage designed to update the public on safety recommendation status changes.
Deputy managing director for recommendations Dr. Susan Anenberg said, “Safety recommendations are the CSB’s primary tool for achieving positive change and preventing future incidents. A recommendation is a specific course of action issued to a specific party, based on the findings of CSB investigations, safety studies, and other products.”
One of the recommendations voted upon and assigned a status of "closed- acceptable action" by the board was issued to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Public Safety, Department of Fire Services. The recommendation was to incorporate standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association into the state’s fire regulations and was the result of a powerful explosion and fire that took place at the CAI/Arnel ink and paint products manufacturing facility in Danvers, MA, on November 22, 2006. On January 1, 2015, the state of Massachusetts adopted a revised fire safety code that incorporates the CSB’s recommendations.
Dr. Anenberg said, “We are very pleased that Massachusetts’ revised fire code includes our recommended safety improvements. Their action ensures that the Board’s accident investigation has a lasting impact on safety in the state.”
Another recommendation closed by the board is a 2007 recommendation to OSHA to implement a national emphasis program for oil refineries focusing on issues the CSB found contributed to the March 23, 2005, explosion at the BP refinery in Texas City, TX. In response to the CSB recommendation, OSHA launched a “Petroleum Refinery Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program,” which led to enhanced inspections of over seventy refineries nationwide.
Also, the CSB successfully closed a recommendation made to the National Fire Protection Association to revise standards based on findings from its investigation into the May 4, 2009, explosion and fire at the Veolia facility in West Carrolton, OH.
Dr. Anenberg said, “Actions taken by CSB recommendations recipients trigger important safety changes that can prevent accidents and save lives. Our goal is for all CSB safety recommendations to be successfully adopted and we look forward to sharing our progress with the public through our new website feature."
For a full list of recently updated recommendations, visit www.csb.gov/recommendations/recently-updated.
The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. 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 plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA.
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