CSB issues final report on Hoeganaes Corp. fires

January 11, 2012

Nashville, TN – Hoeganaes Corp. did not take steps to prevent the accumulation of fine iron powder at its facility in Gallatin, TN, where flash fires and an explosion killed five workers last year – despite knowing the dust was combustible, according to a final report (.pdf file) from the Chemical Safety Board.

In the report, issued Jan. 5, CSB said Hoeganaes was aware of the dust hazard from its own testing and experience, yet failed to implement adequate engineering controls, gas monitoring, and training for employees on preventing flammable gas fires and explosions.

Among several safety recommendations, CSB urged OSHA to publish – within a year – a proposed combustible dust standard that includes iron and steel powders. CSB also recommended that Tennessee OSHA target facilities that make metal dust.

Along with the report, CSB released a safety video, called “Iron in the Fire,” that depicts each incident at the facility.