CSB Says Poorly Designed Dust Collection System Led to Plant Fire

The October 2012 fire burned seven workers at an East Rutherford, N.J., plant.

An investigative report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board concludes that a flash fire that burned seven workers at a US Ink production plant in East Rutherford, N.J., in October 2012 resulted from the accumulation of combustible dust inside a poorly designed dust collection system that the company failed to test prior to operation. The collection system was installed only four days before the fire.

The agency's investigation found that the flawed system only took one day to accumulate enough combustible dust and hydrocarbons in the ductwork to overheat and cause the flash fire at the facility. The volume of the air flow and air velocity in the dust collection system was significantly below industry recommendations.

"Although OSHA's investigation of this accident deemed it a combustible dust explosion, it did not issue any dust-related citations, doubtless hampered by the fact that there is no comprehensive combustible dust regulatory standard," said CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso. "An OSHA standard would likely have required compliance with National Fire Protection Association codes that speak directly to such critical factors as dust containment and collection, hazard analysis, testing, ventilation, air flow, and fire suppression."

CSB released the report Jan. 15 at a public meeting in East Rutherford.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • EHS Management Software Buyer's Guide

    Download this buyer's guide to make more informed decisions as you're looking for an EHS management software system for your organization.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • 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.

  • Industry Safe
Bulwark FR Quiz

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - March 2021

    March 2021

    Featuring:

    • EMPLOYEE TESTING
      The Impact of COVID-19 on Drug Testing
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      Preparing for Unpredictable Spring Weather
    • FALL PROTECTION
      Building a Comprehensive Floor Safety Strategy
    • GAS DETECTION
      Gas Hazards and the COVID-19 Vaccine
    View This Issue