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Report examines methyl isocyanate risk

May 16, 2012

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Washington – Bayer CropScience tried to reduce risks at its methyl isocyanate processing facility but failed to include all elements of inherently safer processing, according to a new report from the National Research Council.

In 2008, two workers at the processing facility in Institute, WV, died in an explosion started by a fire in the production unit. Although the methyl isocyanate storage container was not damaged, the Chemical Safety Board investigation (.pdf file) found the debris from the explosion could have hit a pipe and caused a release of the highly toxic chemical.

NRC advised Bayer to formally incorporate inherently safer process assessments into its process safety management and training. The report also recommended CSB develop a framework to help chemical plant managers choose among processing options, weighing factors such as safety environmental impact and production.

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