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CSB ‘Safety Spotlight’ highlights agency contributions to guidelines, codes and standards

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Photo: Chemical Safety Board

Washington — The work of standards-developing organizations is an integral part of “protecting the safety and health of workers, the public and the environment,” the Chemical Safety Board says in its most recent Safety Spotlight publication.

Issued March 12, the six-page document highlights the importance of adhering to industry safety protocols and notes that SDOs have incorporated numerous recommendations stemming from CSB incident investigations when drafting guidelines, codes and standards. Those include:

  • The American Petroleum Institute in April 2010 issued first-of-its-kind guidance on fatigue risk management in the petrochemical industry after CSB’s investigation into a deadly BP refinery explosion and fire in 2005 in Texas City, TX, found that operators in the isomerization unit where the blast occurred likely were fatigued from working long hours on consecutive days. An updated version of the guidance is expected to be released this year, API states.
  • The National Fire Protection Association in 2011 implemented a provisional gas process safety standard that advises using air, steam, water or inert gas – rather than natural gas – to clean piping after CSB investigations into fatal explosions at a ConAgra Foods plant in Garner, NC, and a Kleen Energy power plant in Middletown, CT, in 2009 and 2010, respectively. The standard was updated in 2013.
  • The International Code Council made several revisions related to combustible dust hazards in the 2018 edition of the International Fire Code after CSB’s investigation into the 2011 fatal flash fires at a Hoeganaes Corp. facility in Gallatin, TN.

“To those SDOs [that] have developed and implemented lifesaving safety guidelines, codes and standards, we at the CSB take this opportunity to acknowledge these broad-reaching, technical advancements,” CSB states.

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