Inspectioneering
Video

CSB Safety Video: Extreme Weather Safety Message

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, June 24, 2020
2
Likes

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has released this video and accompanying safety alert entitled "2020 Hurricane Season: Guidance for Chemical Plants During Extreme Weather Events."  Together, they highlight recent actions by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) to produce industry guidance meant to help hazardous chemical facilities better prepare for extreme weather events.

CSB Chairman Katherine Lemos said, “As the nation faces this year’s hurricane season, it is critical that the chemical industry understand and prepare for the potential safety hazards posed by extreme weather events.”

On August 31, 2017, fires erupted at the Arkema Chemical Plant in Crosby, Texas, as a result of heavy rain from Hurricane Harvey. Plant equipment flooded and failed causing chemicals stored at the facility to decompose and burn, releasing fumes and smoke into the air. Twenty-one people sought medical attention from reported exposures to the fumes. More than 200 residents living nearby the facility were evacuated and could not return home for a week.

The CSB’s investigation of this incident found a significant lack of industry guidance on planning for flooding or other severe weather events, and called on the CCPS to produce such guidance so that incidents like the one at the Arkema plant can be prevented. Recently, the CCPS released that guidance, called “Assessment of and Planning for Natural Hazards,” which provides an updated approach for assessing natural hazards, means to address the hazards, and emergency planning.

Chairman Lemos said “I applaud the CCPS for successfully fulfilling the CSB’s safety recommendation. The severe weather event at Arkema may not be an anomaly. In recent years, flooding has intensified across the country and experts predict this trend will continue. The CCPS guidance will help companies prepare for weather events.

The CSB’s Safety Alert outlines specific procedures to assure safe restarts following a severe weather event. 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 include checking bulk storage tanks for evidence of floating displacement or damage, and examining 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 Senate. CSB 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, visit www.csb.gov or 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.

Talent Solutions

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.

Downloads

Downloadable eBooks, Asset Intelligence Reports, checklists, white papers, and more.

Videos

Watch educational and informative videos directly related to your profession.

Expert Interviews

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