CSB issues final report, video on chemical release

September 28, 2011

Washington – The Chemical Safety Board on Sept. 22 released its final report on a series of incidents in January 2010 that left one worker dead at a DuPont chemical plant in Belle, WV.

Following a two-month public comment period, the board voted 4-1 to adopt the final report (.pdf file), which includes factual corrections and language changes suggested by stakeholders.

Along with the report, CSB issued a safety video based on the investigation. Fatal Exposure: Tragedy at DuPont depicts the sequence of events that caused a phosgene hose to burst – leading to the death of one worker – and explains the causes of two other toxic chemical releases addressed in the report.

According to CSB, the phosgene hose that burst should have been changed at least once a month, but had been in service for seven months. DuPont also failed to heed warnings that the hose lining was susceptible to corrosion.

CSB said the company had considered building an enclosure around the phosgene process to increase safety, but decided not to because of cost concerns. Building enclosures around the phosgene production and storage areas is one of several recommendations CSB made in the report.