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CSB releases safety video on ammonia release

Washington – The Chemical Safety Board has produced a seven-minute video to help employers prevent potentially deadly anhydrous ammonia incidents.

The agency produced the video after investigating a release of more than 32,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia at Millard Refrigerated Services in Theodore, AL, in 2010. More than 150 offsite workers were exposed to the chemical and 32 needed to be hospitalized, including four who required intensive care.

The video, which features three-dimensional animation of the events preceding the chemical release, is based on a CSB safety bulletin from earlier this year.

“The CSB’s new safety video is a valuable tool intended for use at the larger number of facilities that utilize anhydrous ammonia,” former CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said in a press release. “The key lessons learned from our investigation – examined in our report and in this video – can help facilities prevent a similar accident from occurring due to hydraulic shock.”

Moure-Eraso resigned from the agency March 26. President Barack Obama on March 3 nominated Vanessa Allen Sutherland, chief counsel for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, to be the new chairman.