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Overview of Process Safety Incidents

A Process Safety Incident typically involves an unexpected mechanical integrity failure in a pipeline system or processing facility, often including a fire, explosion, rupture, or hazardous chemical leak. These incidents can be caused by a number factors including damage mechanisms, human errors, environmental conditions, and just plain bad luck. Process safety incidents can pose significant risks to workers, the environment, and nearby equipment.

It is unlikely that the O&G and chemical processing industries will ever be able to eliminate process safety incidents completely, due to the inherent dangers present when working with hazardous materials at high temperatures and pressures. However, by following good inspection, maintenance, and engineering practices, the frequency of incidents can be minimized. 

 

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    • Published on May 24, 2018

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a new 13 minute video detailing the events leading up to the August 31, 2017 fire at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas. The incident led to all employees and more than 200 nearby residents being evacuated for a week. Twenty-one people sought medical attention from reported exposures to the fumes and smoke released into the air.

    • Published on April 24, 2018

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released an animation detailing the events leading up to the February 8, 2017 explosion at the Packaging Corporation of America's DeRidder, Louisiana, pulp and paper mill. The incident killed three contract workers that were performing welding and grinding, referred to as “hot work,” above a tank that contained flammable materials. Seven others were injured.

    • Published on January 3, 2018

      The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a new 11-minute safety video describing the events leading up to the October 21, 2016 toxic chemical release at the MGPI Processing plant in Atchison, Kansas. The video, titled "Mixed Connection, Toxic Result" details key lessons from the CSB's investigation into the 2016 incident.

    • 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 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 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 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 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 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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