Response from Petroleum Company 'Unacceptable,' CSB Says

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) said today it unanimously voted to designate as "Closed-Unacceptable Response" the response from Third Coast Terminals, a petroleum products manufacturer in the Houston area, to a board recommendation stemming from a major fire at the company's plant near Friendswood, Texas, in 2002. This is the first time in its nine-year history that CSB has designated a safety recommendation's response "unacceptable."

CSB issued its final report on the fire in March 2003. The plant blended and packaged motor oils and other automotive products, but CSB found it wasn't designed or equipped to prevent the spread of fire: It no smoke or heat detectors, sprinklers, or fire alarms; firefighting water was not supplied to the plant; and warehouse buildings lacked firewalls and were built too close together. The board concluded installed fire protection systems could have prevented the total loss of the plant from the fire, which consumed 1.2 million gallons of combustible and flammable liquids and destroyed the site. One hundred nearby residents were evacuated and a school was closed; the plant wasn't rebuilt, but Third Coast Terminals continues to operate a facility in nearby Pearland.

The board had recommended that Third Coast Terminals audit the Pearland facility and ensure its fire suppression and control procedures meet relevant standards under the National Fire Code and OSHA's flammable and combustible liquids standard. CSB said that Third Coast responded, however, that it disputed the conclusions of the CSB investigation, and the company did not provide any evidence that it has implemented the recommendation. "Having to close this safety recommendation as 'unacceptable' causes us significant concern," CSB Chairman Carolyn Merritt said. "This was a serious fire that threatened the community of Friendswood and caused the loss of an important employer. . . . We were extremely pleased when Brazoria County, responding to one of the board's recommendations, immediately adopted a fire code covering unincorporated areas. However, companies also need to act promptly to enact the board's recommendations, which will protect their workforces and the communities in which they operate."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Easy to Use Safety Inspection App

    Conduct inspections on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Complete safety audits at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Analyze Incident Data and Maintain OSHA Compliance

    Collect relevant incident data, analyze trends, and generate accurate regulatory reports, including OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 logs, through IndustrySafe’s extensive incident reporting and investigation module.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus