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Chemical Safety Board (CSB)

Overview of Chemical Safety Board (CSB)

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is an independent federal agency in the United States that is in charge of investigating and reporting on accidents involving chemicals.  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.

 

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    • Published on November 15, 2017

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board released a preliminary animation detailing the events of the chemical fires at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas after it suffered power loss due to Hurricane Harvey's historic rainfall.

    • Published on October 16, 2017

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a new 8-minute safety video describing the events leading to the November 22, 2016 fire at ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge refinery, which severely burned four workers. The video, entitled "Fire in Baton Rouge," details the CSB's Key Lessons stemming from the 2016 incident.

    • Published on July 26, 2017

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a 3-minute animation describing the events leading to the November 22, 2016 fire at ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge refinery, which severely burned four workers. The fire erupted during maintenance activities in the refinery’s sulfuric acid alkylation unit.

    • Published on May 3, 2017

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released an animation depicting the February 18, 2015 explosion and fire at the ExxonMobil (now PBF Energy) refinery in Torrance, CA.

    • Published on March 20, 2017

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a video demonstrating the agency's positive safety impact in 2016. The video was posted just days after President Trump proposed his "America First" budget plan, which calls for the elimination of the CSB all together.

    • Published on January 26, 2017

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a safety video detailing its investigation of the June 13, 2013 explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins Plant in Geismar, Louisiana, which killed two workers and injured an additional 167.

    • Published on January 29, 2016

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a safety video into the fatal April 17, 2013, fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, which resulted in 15 fatalities, more than 260 injuries, and widespread community damage. The deadly fire and explosion occurred when about thirty tons of fertilizer grade ammonium nitrate (FGAN) exploded after being heated by a fire at the storage and distribution facility.

    • Published on October 21, 2015

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video discussing the massive 2009 explosion at the Caribbean Petroleum, or CAPECO, terminal facility near San Juan, Puerto Rico. The incident occurred when gasoline overflowed and sprayed out from a large aboveground storage tank, forming a 107-acre vapor cloud that ignited.

    • Published on September 30, 2015

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video depicting the accident at DuPont’s La Porte facility, located east of Houston, which killed four workers and injured a fifth when methyl mercaptan, a toxic chemical used in the company’s insecticide and fungicide manufacturing process, was released.

    • Published on October 28, 2014

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video discussing the fatal April 2, 2010, explosion and fire at the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes, Washington. A nearly 40-year-old heat exchanger violently ruptured, causing an explosion and fire that fatally injured seven workers – the largest loss of life at a U.S. refinery since 2005.

    • Published on July 5, 2014

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video discussing the 2010 Macondo tragedy where a failed blowout preventer caused a sudden explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, resulting in the deaths of 11 workers and causing a massive oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Published on January 30, 2014

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released a computer animation recreating the explosion and fire that killed seven workers at the Tesoro Refinery in Anacortes, Washington on April 2, 2010. The five-minute animation illustrates the process of "high temperature hydrogen attack," which over the years damaged and weakened a nearly forty-year-old carbon steel heat exchanger, leading to a catastrophic rupture on the night of the accident.

    • Published on November 14, 2013

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video covering the 2009 explosion at NDK Crystal in Belvidere, Illinois, which fatally injured a truck driver at a nearby gas station. The CSB found that the catastrophic pressure vessel explosion resulted from stress corrosion cracking and that the operator not only failed to inspect or test the vessels, but they failed to heed 3rd party warnings about risk to the public.

    • Published on November 5, 2013

      CSB video excerpts from Dr. Trevor Kletz, a world renowned expert in chemical process safety, who died October 31, 2013.

    • Published on April 19, 2013

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board releases an animation of the August, 2012 incident at Chevron's Richmond, CA refinery.

    • Published on September 22, 2011

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video covering three accidents that occurred over a 33-hour period in 2010 at the Dupont plant in Belle, WV.

    • Published on April 1, 2011

      Marking the one year anniversary of the tragic accident at the Tesoro Refinery in Anacortes, Washington, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a video safety message.

    • Published on March 21, 2011

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video depicting events leading to the August 28, 2008, catastrophic explosion and fire at the Bayer CropScience facility in Institute, WV, that fatally injured two workers and injured eight.

    • Published on February 3, 2011

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video discussing the dangers of intentionally releasing natural gas into work areas.

    • Published on June 7, 2010

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video discussing key lessons to prevent flammable vapor explosions caused by welding and cutting.

    • Published on November 9, 2009

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video discussing how improperly installed or modified pressure vessels have led to a number of serious chemical accidents.

    • Published on January 7, 2009

      As temperatures continue to drop, it's important for process plants to be prepared for the unique safety challenges of subfreezing weather, according to U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairman John Bresland.

    • Published on December 19, 2008

      Refineries and chemical plants are facing serious economic difficulties but still need to maintain their focus on process safety, according to U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairman John Bresland.

    • Published on July 9, 2008

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video depicting how a fire cripples a refinery after propane leaks from a frozen dead leg.

    • Published on March 21, 2008

      U.S. Chemical Safety Board safety video depicts the massive explosion that killed 15 and injured 180 at the BP Texas City refinery in 2005.

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