CSB case study includes recommendations on hazardous waste

July 29, 2010

A Chemical Safety Board accident case study released July 21 calls for better safety standards for hazardous waste processing, handling and storage facilities, as well as revision of fire protection codes.

The case study (.pdf file) examines the 2009 explosion at the Veolia ES Technical Solutions LLC facility in West Carrollton, OH, that injured four workers and damaged eight plant structures and about 20 homes and businesses.

According to a CSB press release, the explosion occurred when flammable vapor released from a waste recycling process ignited. OSHA had previously cited the company for inadequate attention to process safety management.

Among CSB's recommendations:

  • Veolia, which plans to rebuild the plant, should restrict occupancy in buildings near the operating plant to trained personnel.
  • The National Fire Protection Association should require companies to use engineering analyses to determine a safe distance between buildings occupied by non-essential personnel and buildings with potentially hazardous process equipment.
  • The Environmental Technology Council, a hazardous waste industry trade group, should petition NFPA to develop guidance on reducing fires, explosions and releases at hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities.