Federal agencies Manufacturing

CSB updates ‘Most Wanted’ list of safety improvements


Washington – The Chemical Safety Board has added preventive maintenance and emergency response and planning to its “Most Wanted” list of safety improvements.

Preventive maintenance has been added to the list after being identified as the root cause of numerous incidents investigated by CSB, including the 2010 explosion at the Tesoro Corp. refinery in Anacortes, WA, and the 2012 Chevron Corp. refinery fire in Richmond, CA. Problems include inadequate mechanical integrity programs, delayed or deferred preventive maintenance, and the aging infrastructure of equipment. The agency has investigated 11 incidents and has 21 ongoing recommendations related to preventive maintenance at facility, corporate, regulatory program and industry standard levels.

Inadequate or poor emergency planning or response has been another recurring conclusion in CSB investigations of incidents – including the ammonium nitrate explosion and fire at the West Fertilizer Co. in West, TX – prompting its inclusion on the “most wanted” list. CSB has opened 12 investigations and has 46 recommendations regarding emergency planning and response.

CSB Chair Vanessa Sutherland will lead the preventive maintenance issue, and board member Manuel Ehrlich will head the emergency planning and response issue.

“As a 50-year veteran of the chemical industry, I know far too well the importance of a robust emergency response program,” Ehrlich said in a press release. “I have responded to and investigated numerous chemical incidents in my career and look forward to sharing the important safety information in CSB reports and safety videos.”

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