Inspectioneering
News

CSB Urges Oil and Chemical Facilities to Take Special Safety Precautions during Startups Following Hurricane Harvey

U.S. Chemical Safety Board, August 28, 2017
The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) today issued a Safety Alert urging oil and chemical facilities to take special precautions when restarting in the wake of shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey. The startup of major processes at chemical facilities is a hazardous phase and facilities should pay particular attention to process safety requirements during this critical period to assure a safe and expeditious return to normal operations.
 
Restarting a refinery poses a significant safety risk," said Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland. “When operators follow established startup procedures and checklists, it reduces the risk to a catastrophic accident that could cost lives and incur substantial product disruptions.
 
Restarting a complex petrochemical process requires a higher level of attention and care than normal processing, because numerous activities are occurring simultaneously and many automatic systems are run under manual control. Because a significant number of facilities were shut down during Hurricane Harvey, there will be a significant number of facilities restarting, which will increase the risk to safety.
 
The Safety Alert outlines specific procedures to assure safe restarts under the headings, "Rely on Established Safety Systems" and "Check Process Equipment Thoroughly." For example, facilities are urged to follow established startup procedures and checklists, and to recognize that "human performance may be compromised due to crisis conditions."
 
Additional safety protocols require checking bulk storage tanks for evidence of floating displacement or damage, and to examine insulation systems, sewers, drains, furnace systems, electric motors and other equipment, including warning systems, to make sure they are fully functional.
 
 

About the CSB

The CSB is an independent, non-regulatory federal agency charged with investigating industrial chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the SenateCSB investigations examine all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure or inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems. The Board does not issue citations or fines but makes safety recommendations to companies, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. For more information, please visit www.csb.gov.
 
For more information, contact Communications Manager Hillary Cohen at public@csb.gov or by phone at 202.446.8094.


Comments and Discussion

There are no comments yet.

Add a Comment

Please log in or register to participate in comments and discussions.


Inspectioneering Journal

Explore over 20 years of articles written by our team of subject matter experts.

Company Directory

Find relevant products, services, and technologies.

Job Postings

Discover job opportunities that match your skillset.

Case Studies

Learn from the experience of others in the industry.

Event Calendar

Find upcoming conferences, training sessions, online events, and more.

Industry News

Stay up-to-date with the latest inspection and asset integrity management news.

Blog

Read short articles and insights authored by industry experts.

Acronyms

Commonly used asset integrity management and inspection acronyms.

Asset Intelligence Reports

Download brief primers on various asset integrity management topics.

Videos

Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.

Expert Interviews

Inspectioneering's archive of interviews with industry subject matter experts.