CSB Video Captures a Decade of Safety Lessons

The need for training, communications, and community planning is made clear in the video released June 10 by the federal agency.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released a new safety video that illustrates key lessons from the industrial explosions, fires, and other incidents CSB has investigated in the past decade. The lessons are important for emergency responders, companies, and communities to minimize damage and to work closely together to prepare for such incidents, according to CSB.

The "Emergency Preparedness: Findings from CSB Accident Investigations" video uses computer animations, interviews, and news footage of incidents, including the Ghent, W.Va., propane explosion at a convenience store and a 2006 fire at a hazardous waste facility in Apex, N.C., to explain the need for effective training, communications, and community planning. In it, CSB Chairman John Bresland says, "Preparations by companies, emergency responders, government authorities, and the public are critical to reducing injuries and saving lives. It's not only important to be prepared, but everyone must communicate, have an up-to-date plan in place and practice that plan regularly. We hope that our findings will help keep communities safe."

The agency says the video begins with an animation of a boiling liquid expansion vapor explosion (BLEVE) in a large propane tank that killed two firefighters and injured seven others in 1998 in Albert City, Iowa. The firefighters had not received accurate training or guidance on BLEVE hazards and approached within 100 feet of the burning tank when it exploded. "The Herrig Brothers farm explosion animation provides a tragic but important starting point for the video," CSB Board Member William Wark said. "Every day, firefighters face challenges like these and, sadly, sometimes lose their lives. We hope the video will make the case that training and communication are critical so that responders can do their jobs without death or injury."

The video is available online at www.CSB.gov, www.safetyvideos.gov, and YouTube. It can be ordered on a new two-DVD set of all CSB safety videos by filling out the request form at www.CSB.gov.

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