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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Combustible dust standard identified as ‘Most Wanted’

CSB Business Meeting to Vote on Key Safety Recommendations and Initiate "Most Wanted" Program - Public Meeting - Events | the U.S. Chemical Safety Board

Thursday, July 25, 2013

CSB Business Meeting to Vote on Key Safety Recommendations and Initiate "Most Wanted" Program

All Day Event

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will meet publicly to consider the status designations of seven key safety recommendations issued to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA.) The Board will also consider selection of the agency's first "Most Wanted Safety Improvement."

TIME AND DATE:  July 25, 2013, 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. EDT.

PLACERonald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Horizon Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue View of the damage to temporary office trailers caused by the 2005 BP Texas City Refinery explosion and fire N.W., Washington, DC 20004.

OVERVIEW OF ACTIVITIES:

From 9:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m., the Board will consider designating the following recommendations to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the status "Open- Unacceptable Response":  
  1. Recommendation No. 2001-05-I-DE-R1: This recommendation calls upon OSHA to ensure coverage under the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, at 29 CFR 1910.119, for atmospheric storage tanks that could be involved in a potential catastrophic release as a result of being interconnected to a covered process with 10,000 pounds of a flammable substance. This recommendation was issued pursuant to the CSB's investigation of the 2001 atmospheric tank explosion at the Motiva Delaware City Refinery.
  2. Recommendation No. 2005-04-I-TX-R9: This recommendation calls upon OSHA to revise the PSM standard to require management of change reviews for organizational changes (e.g. mergers, acquisitions) that could impact process safety. This recommendation was issued pursuant to the CSB's investigation of the March 2005 BP Texas City Refinery Fire and Explosion.
  3. Recommendation No. 2010-07-I-CT-UR1:  This recommendation calls upon OSHA to issue a fuel gas safety standard for both general industry and construction. This recommendation was issued pursuant to the CSB's investigations of the February 2010 incident at Kleen Energy in Middletown, CT, and the June 2009 explosion and ammonia release at ConAgra in Garner, NC.
Beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT, the Board will consider and vote on the status designations of four recommendations to OSHA related to the issuance of a general industry standard for combustible dusts:  
At the conclusion of the meeting CSB Board Members are expected to designate an OSHA general industry standard for combustible dust as the CSB's first “Most Wanted Chemical Safety Improvement” issue.  

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

During both the morning and afternoon sessions, members of the audience will have an opportunity to provide comments on the pending actions to be voted by the Board.  Speakers should assume that their presentations will be limited to five minutes or less, and may submit written statements for the record.

MEETING MATERIALS:

Federal Register Notice (78 FR 41908, July 12, 2013)
Press Release: "CSB Announces Public Meeting in Washington to Vote on Key Safety Recommendations and Initiate Most Wanted Program" (July 15, 2013)
Meeting Agenda (Coming Soon!)
Summaries of staff evaluations to be presented

RELATED MATERIALS:

Board Order 46, which establishes the CSB's Most Wanted Chemical Safety Improvements Program.
Frequently Asked Questions about the CSB's Recommendations

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Combustible Dust: From Sparks to Fires to Explosions

Combustible Dust: From Sparks to Fires to Explosions - Identifying Precursors to Catastrophic Events 

From OHS-- Occupational Health and Safety

Since the 2009 introduction of OSHA’s proposed combustible dust rulemaking following the 2008 Imperial Sugar Refinery catastrophic dust explosion, a regulation has not been finalized. In the interim, Congress has acted with the February 2013 reintroduction of a proposed combustible dust bill, “Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act (H.R. 691),” which directs OSHA to immediately publish an interim combustible dust regulation.

A problem arises in both the proposed OSHA combustible dust rulemaking process and reintroduced combustible dust bill in that neither acknowledges the multitude of “near miss” combustible dust related fires, precursors to catastrophic dust explosions and flash fires. In 2013 a preliminary analysis by the Combustible Dust Policy Institute (CDPI) of National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) 2011 data provided by the National Fire Data Center at the U.S. Fire Administration indicated over 500 combustible dust related incidents.

The majority of these incidents are “near miss” fires in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors with dust, item first ignited.

This webinar will provide valuable information on how partnering with the nation’s fire service assists facility owners, managers, and OHS professionals in identifying combustible dust hazards, preventing incidents, and reducing liability. The presenters will discuss the fire service’s response to the prevalence of repeatable “near miss” combustible dust-related fires occurring throughout U.S. industry. 



Speakers:

Richard Keyworth, CFPS, has more than 40 years of experience in fire protection, fire prevention, and fire/explosion investigation. He spent more than three decades with the Elk Grove Village (Ill.) Fire Department, serving in many capacities. He is the author of the book "FIRES...Accidental or Arson?" and numerous technical articles for trade publications.

Jeffrey C. Nichols, Managing Partner, Industrial Fire Prevention LLC, has successfully applied process protection systems to help protect production and personnel in the process industries in North America since 1979. He is a member of the NFPA 664 Technical Committee. He has been instrumental in protecting many types of processes, including drying, milling, grinding, shredding, pulverizing, separating, sanding, pressing, pelletizing, extruding, storage, conveying, and dust collection systems, in diverse industries.

John Astad, Combustible Dust Policy Institute, Director/Process Safety Analyst located in Santa Fe, Texas, researches global combustible dust-related fires and explosions occurring in the manufacturing, non-manufacturing, and industrial sectors. He is dedicated to educating stakeholders on the prevention and mitigation of future incidents. His incident data was utilized in the OSHA Combustible Dust Advanced Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in conjunction with CSB incident data

Sponsors:

GreCon, Inc.
Since 1911, GreCon,the industry leading manufacture of Spark Detection Systems, continues to develop innovative technology for the safety of your production. Our Factory Approved spark detection systems can greatly reduce the risk of personnel injury, equipment damage and downtime. GreCon has hundreds of applications in many industries including food, chemical, wood products, paper, plastics, rubber, biomass, bioenergy, foundry, metal casting, and automotive, just toname a few. Spark detection systems are outlined in NFPA 69, 654, and 664 standards.

Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums, a division of Nilfisk-Advance, Inc.
Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums, a division of Nilfisk-Advance, Inc., is one of the largest providers of cleaning equipment in North America. From its Morgantown, Pa., headquarters, Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums supports three brands – Nilfisk, Nilfisk CFM and Nilfisk ALTO – that provide industrial vacuums to manufacturing and industrial facilities. Equipped with exceptionally efficient filtration systems and user-friendly features, Nilfisk vacuums play a critical role in maintaining safe and sanitary processes in the pharmaceutical, food and chemical industries, among others. Only Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums has industry and application experts, to help customers solve various cleaning challenges, including combustible dust, general maintenance, overhead cleaning, abatement, process integration, and laboratory and cleanroom contamination control. For more information, visit www.nilfiskindustrialvacuums.com

Fauske Associates, LLC
Fauske and Associates, LLC (FAI) is a world leader in the areas of dust/explosivity/combustibility and flammability.  FAI has been in the testing, engineering and consulting business for more than 32 years.  We offer a wide range of services related to characterizing, preventing and mitigating combustible dust explosions and fire hazards.  Additionally, we are ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 9001 and TickIT certified, and operate at the highest level of integrity to ensure that all of our tests are performed to current standards on state of the art approved apparatus by trained technicians.  www.fauske.com, 877-FAUSKE1.

 

Duration: 1 Hour

Monday, July 8, 2013

Combustible Dust: From Sparks to Fires to Explosions

Combustible Dust: From Sparks to Fires to Explosions Identifying Precursors to Catastrophic Events
Occupational Health & Safety webinar


Since the 2009 introduction of OSHA’s proposed combustible dust rulemaking following the 2008 Imperial Sugar Refinery catastrophic dust explosion, a regulation has not been finalized. In the interim, Congress has acted with the February 2013 reintroduction of a proposed combustible dust bill, “Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act (H.R. 691),” which directs OSHA to immediately publish an interim combustible dust regulation.

A problem arises in both the proposed OSHA combustible dust rulemaking process and reintroduced combustible dust bill in that neither acknowledges the multitude of “near miss” combustible dust related fires, precursors to catastrophic dust explosions and flash fires. In 2013 a preliminary analysis by the Combustible Dust Policy Institute (CDPI) of National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) 2011 data provided by the National Fire Data Center at the U.S. Fire Administration indicated over 500 combustible dust related incidents.

The majority of these incidents are “near miss” fires in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors with dust, item first ignited.
This webinar will provide valuable information on how partnering with the nation’s fire service assists facility owners, managers, and OHS professionals in identifying combustible dust hazards, preventing incidents, and reducing liability. The presenters will discuss the fire service’s response to the prevalence of repeatable “near miss” combustible dust-related fires occurring throughout U.S. industry. 


REGISTER BELOW TODAY!
DATE
: July 10, 2013
TIME: 2:00PM EDT - 1:00PM CDT - 11:00AM PDT

Speakers:

Richard Keyworth, CFPS, has more than 40 years of experience in fire protection, fire prevention, and fire/explosion investigation. He spent more than three decades with the Elk Grove Village (Ill.) Fire Department, serving in many capacities. He is the author of the book "FIRES...Accidental or Arson?" and numerous technical articles for trade publications.

Jeffrey C. Nichols, Managing Partner, Industrial Fire Prevention LLC, has successfully applied process protection systems to help protect production and personnel in the process industries in North America since 1979. He is a member of the NFPA 664 Technical Committee. He has been instrumental in protecting many types of processes, including drying, milling, grinding, shredding, pulverizing, separating, sanding, pressing, pelletizing, extruding, storage, conveying, and dust collection systems, in diverse industries.

John Astad, Combustible Dust Policy Institute, Director/Process Safety Analyst located in Santa Fe, Texas, researches global combustible dust-related fires and explosions occurring in the manufacturing, non-manufacturing, and industrial sectors. He is dedicated to educating stakeholders on the prevention and mitigation of future incidents. His incident data was utilized in the OSHA Combustible Dust Advanced Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) in conjunction with CSB incident data

Sponsors:

GreCon, Inc.
Since 1911, GreCon,the industry leading manufacture of Spark Detection Systems, continues to develop innovative technology for the safety of your production. Our Factory Approved spark detection systems can greatly reduce the risk of personnel injury, equipment damage and downtime. GreCon has hundreds of applications in many industries including food, chemical, wood products, paper, plastics, rubber, biomass, bioenergy, foundry, metal casting, and automotive, just toname a few. Spark detection systems are outlined in NFPA 69, 654, and 664 standards.

Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums, a division of Nilfisk-Advance, Inc.
Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums, a division of Nilfisk-Advance, Inc., is one of the largest providers of cleaning equipment in North America. From its Morgantown, Pa., headquarters, Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums supports three brands – Nilfisk, Nilfisk CFM and Nilfisk ALTO – that provide industrial vacuums to manufacturing and industrial facilities. Equipped with exceptionally efficient filtration systems and user-friendly features, Nilfisk vacuums play a critical role in maintaining safe and sanitary processes in the pharmaceutical, food and chemical industries, among others. Only Nilfisk Industrial Vacuums has industry and application experts, to help customers solve various cleaning challenges, including combustible dust, general maintenance, overhead cleaning, abatement, process integration, and laboratory and cleanroom contamination control. For more information, visit www.nilfiskindustrialvacuums.com

Fauske Associates, LLC
Fauske & Associates, LLC (FAI) is a world leader in the areas of dust/explosivity/combustibility and flammability.  FAI has been in the testing, engineering and consulting business for more than 32 years.  We offer a wide range of services related to characterizing, preventing and mitigating combustible dust explosions and fire hazards.  Additionally, we are ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 9001 and TickIT certified, and operate at the highest level of integrity to ensure that all of our tests are performed to current standards on state of the art approved apparatus by trained technicians.  www.fauske.com, 877-FAUSKE1.
Date: Jul 10, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM ET

Duration: 1 Hour

Webinar: Combustible Dust: From Sparks to Fires to Explosions

Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires-ATEX: Webinar: Combustible Dust: From Sparks to Fires to Explosions

Webinar: Combustible Dust: From Sparks to Fires to Explosions

Free Webinar July 10, 2013 TIME: 2:00PM EDT - 1:00PM CDT - 11:00AM PDT 

Since the 2009 introduction of OSHA’s proposed combustible dust rulemaking following the 2008 Imperial Sugar Refinery catastrophic dust explosion, a regulation has not been finalized. In the interim, Congress has acted with the February 2013 reintroduction of a proposed combustible dust bill, “Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act (H.R. 691),” which directs OSHA to immediately publish an interim combustible dust regulation.

A problem arises in both the proposed OSHA combustible dust rulemaking process and reintroduced combustible dust bill in that neither acknowledges the multitude of “near miss” combustible dust related fires, precursors to catastrophic dust explosions and flash fires. In 2013 a preliminary analysis by the Combustible Dust Policy Institute (CDPI) of National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) 2011 data provided by the National Fire Data Center at the U.S. Fire Administration indicated over 500 combustible dust related incidents. The majority of these incidents are “near miss” fires in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors with dust, item first ignited.

This webinar will provide valuable information on how partnering with the nation’s fire service assists facility owners, managers, and OHS professionals in identifying combustible dust hazards, preventing incidents, and reducing liability. The presenters will discuss the fire service’s response to the prevalence of repeatable “near miss” combustible dust-related fires occurring throughout U.S. industry.

REGISTER

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The Pluses and Minuses of Safety

From ProAct Safety - The Pluses and Minuses of Safety

"When you stop trying to avoid failure and start trying to achieve success, the whole mindset of your organization can change" 

The Pluses and Minuses of Safety

EHS Today - October 2012
By: Terry L. Mathis
Printable Version

 
Do you think of safety as something that needs to be added to your organization or as something that is accomplished when you remove risks? Do you spend more of your time getting people to do things or to not do things? Is safety the absence of accidents, the control of risks, or it something else? The way you think about safety will impact the actions you take and your actions will determine your degree of success. The actions that tend to follow a positive approach to safety differ in some important ways from the actions that are typically used in a negative approach.

The negative approach to safety is actually the most common. Safety is defined as not having an accident and the way to not have an accident is to eliminate hazards and not take risks. The focus is on what the risks are and who is taking them. Hazards are removed from the workplace when possible and controlled to the extent that they are controllable. When workers are caught taking risks, actions must be taken to stop the risk-taking behavior. Even the positive activities such as safety training and safety meetings tend to focus on awareness of what not to do. Safety metrics are the failure rates of frequency and severity of accidents and success is defined as failing less frequently and/or less severely.

Removing hazards from the workplace is effective to a point and then tends to produce diminishing returns. Most organizations have been addressing workplace hazards for years. There are always more but, at some point, organizations have to prioritize where they will expend their resources to further improve their safety performance. When they reach a point where the next fix gets progressively more expensive and produces progressively less improvement, they tend to turn toward the human elements of safety versus the conditional elements. Even accident-free workplaces are not hazard-free and there has been an increasing focus of the behavioral sciences in safety.

The tools offered by the behavioral sciences to stop risk-taking behaviors are limited and problematic. Theoretically, the way to stop a behavior permanently is through the use of punishment. This means attempting to change the consequences of the behavior. The natural consequences of risk-taking behaviors are often saving time and not getting injured. Effective punishment to extinguish a behavior must be timely and consistent. This means that risk taking must be regularly detected and dealt with in a timely manner. If supervisors are not effectively policing workers or the safety culture is not policing itself, most risks will not be detected. Even if an organization improves its policing skills, it might not be able to deal with the number of discipline cases without delays and interruptions to operations. Anything that makes the punishment uncertain or delayed weakens its effectiveness.

Punishment has other negative side effects as well. It can damage relationships between leaders and followers. The role of leaders can be viewed as fixing the blame rather than fixing the problems. Punishment can also change behaviors in unwanted ways. When a worker is punished, the desired result is to diminish the behavior for which the punishment was administered. When instead, the worker takes measures to not get caught rather than to comply, this is called avoidance behavior. When a worker finds alternate ways to comply but still show defiance and lack of cooperation, this is called malicious compliance. The use of force to change behaviors is fraught with opportunities to go wrong. Even when it is carefully administered, it produces a do-as-you-are-told culture that may accomplish compliance, but seldom reaches excellence.

The less-used, positive approach to safety involves defining what to do and using a different set of tools to make that happen. The goal of safety is to not have accidents, but what is the strategy and methodology to make that happen? If we define safety as taking precautions rather than not taking risks, we begin to build this positive mental model. It is as simple as listing the risks you want to avoid and defining the steps to achieve it. Any rule, procedure or guideline for safety can be defined in terms of what to do rather than what not to do. The real advantage of doing so is not just an exercise in language; it is the beginning of creating a new strategy that will allow you to use more effective tools to execute.

The alternative to policing is coaching. Cops catch people doing something wrong and impose a negative consequence. Coaches catch people doing something right and impose a positive consequence. Unlike policing, coaching builds strong and functional relationships. Cops are viewed as enemies, and coaches as allies. Creating a positive culture is greatly facilitated by removing the enmity and class structure of the givers and receivers of punishment.

The behavioral sciences have tools for starting or increasing behaviors that are stronger and less problematic than the tools to stop behaviors. Very few workers complain of receiving too much recognition or positive reinforcement for their safety performance. Only when you positively define safety can you change the tools you use to accomplish your goals. When you stop trying to avoid failure and start trying to achieve success, the whole mindset of your organization can change. You begin to build on strengths rather than addressing weaknesses. Communication focuses on wins rather than losses. Workers are motivated by visible progress towards goals and are more willing to expend discretional effort to become even more excellent. Compliance gives way to going above and beyond.

Accidents are an enemy to business that can be attacked from two different directions. We can focus on the things to not do so we don't increase risks, or we can focus on the things we can do to reduce risks. If your goal is compliance, punishment can get you there. If your goal is excellence, you need to positively define what that looks like and coach your organization in that direction.

 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Report: Plant Explosion Released Toxic Chemicals

"The deadly June 13 explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar released more than 62,000 pounds of toxic chemicals during the accident that killed two workers and injured 114 others..."

"We are working in a cooperative and transparent manner with OSHA and CSB through this process"


Report: Plant Explosion Released Toxic Chemicals

GEISMAR, La. (AP) — The deadly June 13 explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins chemical plant in Geismar released more than 62,000 pounds of toxic chemicals during the accident that killed two workers and injured 114 others, according to a report filed with state environmental regulators.

State police man a roadblock as smoke burns off from a flare at a chemical plant fire about twenty miles southeast of Baton Rouge, in Geismar, La., Thursday, June 13, 2013. The plant makes highly flammable gases that are basic building blocks in the petrochemical industry. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
According to the report filed with the state Department of Environmental Quality, the facility released 31,187 pounds of volatile organic carbon material; 23,090 pounds of propylene; 2,398 pounds of ethylene; 5,621 pounds of other volatile organic carbon materials, including propane; and 48 pounds of benzene. According to The Times-Picayune, the report says those are conservative estimates.

The cause of the blast and fire are still not known, although investigators are focusing on a heat exchanger and piping associated with the manufacturing column that extracts propylene from natural gas. A company spokesman said Tuesday that two contract workers injured in the blast remained hospitalized.

At the time of the accident, air monitoring did not detect harmful amounts of chemicals in the air, but residents were advised to "shelter in place" in their homes, with windows and doors shut, EPA officials said at the time. DEQ reported that monitoring on the day of the accident and the two days afterward found no unsafe levels of chemicals and that Williams Olefins reported its air monitoring also showed no measurable levels of chemicals in the air.

But a survey of 67 people living near the plant by a team of volunteers working with the Louisiana Bucket Brigade took note of 24 people who reported health problems after the accident, ranging from respiratory and eye irritations to headaches and nausea. The survey was conducted a day after the explosion near the Jackie Robinson playground in Geismar.

The chemical releases included liquids and gases that escaped during the fire, which lasted from 8:37 a.m. until shortly after noon, and gases and particles released from flares until about 4:30 p.m., the report said.

Some water used to fight the chemical fire was captured in tanks or holding areas on site, according to the report, but some of that water left the plant site in storm drains or as sheet flow across the property. A June 18 report by Williams Olefins to DEQ said the wastewater releases may have violated the company's permits for discharge of wastewater, including for benzene, ethylbenzene and toluene.
The fire caused significant damage at the chemical plant, which was undergoing a $400 million expansion. When the expansion is complete, the plant will be able to manufacture 1.95 billion pounds of chemicals a year.

In a news release Monday, the company said the scope of damage remains unclear.

"The plant remains shut down and the expansion work that was occurring is temporarily suspended," said the news release. "Neither the full extent of the damage nor the time needed to make repairs is known."

The accident is under investigation by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the independent federal Chemical Safety Board, EPA and DEQ.

"At this point it is too early to determine how long the investigation will last, but statutorily, OSHA has up to six months to complete the investigation," said Juan Rodriguez, a spokesman in OSHA's Dallas office.

"It is too early in the investigation to comment," said Rodney Mallett, a spokesman for the state DEQ. "We wouldn't want to jeopardize the ongoing DEQ investigation, much less interfere with the other agencies."

Officials with the Chemical Safety Board on Tuesday did not return requests for information on its investigation.
"We are working in a cooperative and transparent manner with OSHA and CSB through this process," said Keith Isbell, a Williams Olefins spokesman.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, will hold a hearing to examine the events leading up to the explosion as well as an April 17 explosion at a fertilizer manufacturing plant in West, Texas, that killed 15 people, injured more than 160, and destroyed or damaged more than 150 homes and a 50-unit apartment building.
___
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com

Monday, July 1, 2013

Indiana Grain Elevator on Fire Day After Blast

 
A concrete grain silo in Union Mills, Ind. after an explosion reportedly destroyed the top of the structure on Monday, June 24, 2013. (AP Photo/La Porte County Herald Argus, Matt Fritz)


Indiana Grain Elevator on Fire Day After Blast

UNION MILLS, Ind. (AP) — A fire broke out and thick black smoke billowed from a northwestern Indiana grain elevator a day after an explosion at the plant killed a worker.

Facility owner Co-Alliance LLP says crews dismantling grain bins Tuesday at the Union Mills Co-op in Union Mills likely exposed smoldering grain to the wind. No injuries were reported.

Grain dust is the suspected cause of Monday's blast that killed 67-year-old worker James Swank at the facility about 30 miles southwest of South Bend.

LaPorte County sheriff's Sgt. Brian Piergalski tells WNDU-TV that authorities fearing new explosions evacuated some nearby homes.
Co-Alliance safety manager Shawn Lambert tells WSBT-TV the fire burned a rubber belt on a conveyor system.