Chemical Safety Board releases report on North Carolina chemical plant explosion response and best practices
| 08.21.2007 | 07:15:01 | Views: 2889 | ID:
August 21 '07: The Chemical Safety Board released a report earlier in July which outlined several missteps in corporate emergency preparedness which led to a faulty response and one death at the Synthron chemical plant in Morgantown, North Carolina.
In the report, the CSB said it found a lack of "basic safeguards to prevent, detect, and mitigate runaway reactions, and that essential management practices were not in place." The accident, on January 31, 2006 was the result of a "runaway chemical reaction in a 1500-gallon process vessel inside the Synthron production building," the CSB wrote on its website.In addition to the report, the CSB also released a two-minute video showing how the reaction occurred. The video was then incorporated into a larger 20-minute movie that included lessons-learned from the Bhopal disaster in India. Among other findings, the CSB wrote: "Synthron had not performed a systematic safety review of the reactor ... The facility also failed to install safeguards to automatically detect, prevent, or mitigate a runaway reaction. ... The CSB also concluded that Synthron was not prepared for an emergency. Operating procedures did not instruct employees on what to do in the event of a chemical release or loss of chemical reactor control." Additionally, CSB Lead Investigator Jim Lay said, "We found that most of the management and operations personnel at Synthron had gathered only minimal safety information on its polymer-producing processes and personnel, including the managers, were poorly prepared to recognize the dangers from an uncontrolled chemical reaction."
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