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Daily Report Sample
Ports of Houston & Texas City
Port of Texas City
Approximately 2.5 million bbl. crude
The Chemical Safety Board, the lead U.S.A. federal agency tasked with investigating and determining the root causes of accidents similiar in severity to the recent massive Big Spring ,Texas refinery explosion will not be able to investigate the incident due to under staffing and under funding.
Horowitz said the Chemical Safety Board would normally investigate Monday's incident as well, but with the recent sugar refinery explosion in Georgia and other incidents they're still investigating, they simply don't have the resources.
This troubling development puts our nation at great
economic and national security risk. Especially since the national petroleum
refining infrastructure is the fuel that maintains and provides the means for the United States in maintaining social and global economic stability.
A national movement is now underway in the United States to capture the attention of federal legislators concerning the ongoing problem concerning failed governmental policy in addressing current meager workplace safety standards that place our industrial sector at risk.
Leading worker organizations today called on the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency standard on combustible dust. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters filed a petition with the U.S. Department
For the reader to understand the scope of the problem, one must understand that OSHA's function is solely to determine if safety and health violations were not followed and then to initiate fines and penalty procedures.
So who is tasked with finding the root cause of accident? This is where the U. S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) enters the picture. This independent federal agency is the cream of the crop when it comes to determining the root cause of major accidents.
The problem is under staffing and under financing for the 16 professional investigators that are tasked with deploying and investigating accidents for the entire United States. Last year in 2007
there were 937 incidents with 31 of the accidents that were serious enough in nature to require deployment of the investigators. Yet only eight of the incidents had CSB investigators deployed in determining the root cause of the accident.
Would it be acceptable to have 31 airline crashes and only eight
accidents where the National Transportation Board and FAA deployed?. The
CSB is being funded with appropriations from Congress with less than $10
million dollars. About the same amount it would cost for a new running trail, expanded tennis facilities, a pedestrian bridge, and other amenities at a local park in Houston, Texas.
City officials and local parks advocates Tuesday launched a $10 million fund raising campaign for a new running trail, expanded tennis facilities, a pedestrian bridge and other amenities at Memorial Park.
So now we stand at the abyss where our entire nations workforce and industrial infrastructure rates in the same importance as leisure time activities?
An interesting and revealing development in the tragic Imperial Sugar Refinery explosion investigation is that the facility experienced a previous less serious explosion weeks earlier with no injuries.
Selk said no one was injured in that explosion. They do not know all the details about what happened, but he said they were interviewing the company's managers.
Yet details from an Associated Press news report mentions that a company spokesman can't recall the details of the earlier explosion at this time.
Steve Behm, a spokesman for Imperial Sugar, said he did not know any details of the earlier dust explosion mentioned by Selk
Thats the main problem with these plant explosions that occurring with regularity in the United States. If there are no fatalities or injuries that require hospitalization, then the accident goes unreported to the Occupational and Safety Health Administration officials and the root cause is not investigated until someone is killed or three workers are hospitalized.
In contrast, deployment of the the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Team, an independent federal agency, to an accident scene is carried out according to three main criteria:
An update on the cause of the earlier explosion from a company spokesman:
The earlier blast was caused by a small piece of metal that passed through a machine used to grind granulated sugar into finer particles, Behm said. The metal fragment caused a spark that got sucked into a dustcollector and ignited the dust inside it, he said.The rooftop dust collector had ventilation panels that opened to relieve pressure from the small blast, minimizing the force of the explosion, Behm said. Damage to the dust collector was minimal, and it was quickly repaired, he said.
"The equipment in there functioned correctly and did its job," Behm said.
In addition to explosion ventilation panels there are additional components in protecting a facility from a dust explosions such as infrared heat detectors that can detect temperatures down to 400 degrees centigrade. For example, an extinguished match is 500 degrees centigrade, which astonishingly is all the heat required in ignition for many combustible dusts such as sugar (350-400 C). In the end result, this is the equivalent destructive force of gunpowder in a confined space.
Examples of Combustible Dusts
Tags: Georgia | Savannah | Wentworth | Chatham County | Chemical Safety Board | dust explosion | Environment | Explosion | Imperial Sugar Refinery | INVESTIGATORS | manager | OSHA | Probes | refinery | Safety | Selk
However, Jefferson County Judge Ron Walker said in a press release the area does not currently have enough skilled workers to meet the demands for now and in the future.
The United States currently has a shortage of refineries in the production of gasoline and the current expansion projects will provide some relief and a diminished reliance on imports.
City leaders are still reeling from the recent announcement of a $7 billion expansion of the Motiva refinery, and they were celebrating again on Feb. 13 as Total Petrochemicals announced it was investing $2.2 billion in its Port Arthur refinery.
Explosions and fires continue on a regular basis at plants and facilities throughout the United States that generate combustible dusts. So far there is no comprehensive work place safety standard to prevent future potential incidents where fatalities and injuries occur like at the recent Imperial Sugar refinery explosion in Georgia last week. By a stroke of luck and the grace of God, no one was injured in this incident at Endres Processing Plant.
Past fires and explosions at the plant have resulted in a worker fatality, five injured workers, serious safety violations and thousands of dollars in fines.
This week another explosion occurred at the Endres Processing Plant in Rosemont, North Dakota, which recycles bakery and food byproducts into animal feed.
A fire at Endres Processing, a plant in east Rosemount that turns discarded baked goods into livestock feed, halted work on Wednesday.
Since there were no fatalities or injuries the incident will not be reported to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)officials
Most of the other fires at the plant also happened in equipment at the drying bin. Aker said dust from extra-dry grain can cause explosions in high temperatures.
Types of Combustible Dusts
The Chemical Safety Board (CSB), a federal agency in the United States completed a two year investigation concerning combustible dusts in the work place and submitted the report to the Secretary of Labor back in November 2006. The primary recommendation of the federal agency was that OSHA institute a comprehensive work place standard and regulation concerning combustible dusts. So far the Department of Labor has not followed up on this recommendation, while preventable fires, explosions, injuries, and fatalities continue to occur at plants and facilities that generate combustible dusts.
Chemical Safety Board Recommendations
Issue a standard designed to prevent combustible dust fires and explosions
Modify ANSI Z400.1 American National Standard for Hazardous Industrial Chemicals--Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)include information on combustible dust hazards
Nearly eight years ago on May 15, 2000, Endres Processing experienced another explosion that resulted in one fatality and four injuries.
An explosion in 2000 prompted OSHA to investigate Endres after an employee died and four others were injured. The company paid $33,000 in fines for failing to keep the plant free of grain spills and flammable dust and for not following its own safety procedures.
Endres Processing contested the fine stating that it was not bound to the OSHA regulation concerning combustible dust hazards since the facility was not a grain processing facility.
According to the contest, Endres, however, is not subject to the requirement because Endres does not receive or use as stock material any unprocessed grain materials. Accordingly, Endres is not a grain handling facility and is not subject to the OSHA standard for grain dust at such facilities.
This is where the root problem is now concerning accidents that are now occurring...there is no workplace safety standard.
that handle combustible dusts include:
In addition to recent letters that prominent legislators have sent to the Secretary of Labor regarding needed amendments to OSHA work place standards concerning combustible dust hazards in the workplace a petition is now being generated by Care2, where over 8 million members have gotten involved in a myraid of issues that require change.
Tags: American National Standard for Hazardous Industrial Chemicals | ANSI Z400.1 | Chemical Safety Board | combustible dusts | CSB | Endres | Endres Processing | Environment | Explosion | fatalities | Federal Agency | Hazard Communication Standard | hcs | INJURED | injuries. St. Paul | M
Until the Secretary of Labor enacts a comphrehensive OSHA workplace standard where combustible dusts are present, dust explosions and fires will continue at an unbridled rate.
A powerful sawdust explosion shook a building and started a fire at a furniture facility off U.S. 29 Tuesday morning, but left minimal damage and no injuries.
After a two year investigation, the Chemical Safety Board submitted a report to the Department of Labor in November 2006, concerning combustible dust hazards and the prevelance of explosions, fires, injuries, and fatalities that occur in a wide spectrum of industries.
Top federal safety officials urged the Labor Department in 2006 to adopt critical regulations to prevent deadly dust explosions-- like the one suspected in the deadly blast in a Georgia sugar plant last Thursday-- but the government has failed to do so.
Additionally, as recent as last week in a letter to Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao, Congressman George Miller (D-CA), Chairman on Education and Labor also requested her to act in providing workplace standards in combustible dust environments.
I am writing to ask you to take immediate steps to issue a standard to prevent combustible dust explosions, as recommended to your agency by the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) in November 2006.
Closer to the site of the Savannah dust explosion, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Patty Murray (D-WA), who are ranking members of the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety have also sent urgent pleas to the Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao concerning a prompt response so future catastrophes can be avoided.
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Labor and the interim executive of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, urging them to begin a comprehensive investigation of the Feb. 7 explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Savannah, Ga.
Interesting enough, a two year investigation has already been completed by the Chemical Safety Board concerning dust explosions and now is the time to act with a comphrehensive regulatory framework concerning process mangement, hazard communication, and training concerning dust hazards . OSHA an agency under the umbrella of the Department of Labor, is not tasked with finding root causes of explosions like CSB, instead these regulators seek out regulatory infractions. Ironically,other than an OSHA Grain Handling Standard there are no comphrehensive regulations concerning most industries that generate combustible dust hazards, except a general duty clause. Meanwhile, more dust explosions and fires continue in the nation's workplace.
Fire closes Rice Lake
manufacturing plant 1/30/2008
Firefighters could see smoke emanating from a chip and dust collection chute when they arrived, which lead them to the source of the blaze located in a western storage silo. Flames also spread into an interior machine room in the main plant.
Coal dust sends firefighters to Clinton ADM plant Friday, December 21, 2007
The fire started when some coal dust near a boiler in the co-generation plant began to smolder, said company spokesman David Weintraub.
Tags: Campbell | Secretary | blast | Building | Chemical Safety Board | Congressman George Miller | county | damage | department | dust | Elaine L. Chao | Environment | Explosion | facility | factory | furniture | injuries | minimal | ombustible dust hazards | OSHA | Powerful | rattles | sawdust