CSB Releases Video Detailing 2013 Geismar Explosion

The explosion killed two workers and injured an additional 167. CSB identified a number of failed safety management processes.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has released a safety video of its investigation into the 2013 explosion that killed two workers and injured 167 in Geismar, La. The explosion occurred at the Williams Olefins Plant when a heat exchanger containing flammable liquid propane erupted. The video, entitled "Blocked In," includes an animation of the incident as well as interviews with the CSB investigators. It is available for viewing here.

An investigation found a number of failed safety management processes, including the fact that the heat exchanger that failed was isolated from its pressure relief valve.

"Our investigation on the explosion at Williams describes an ineffective process safety management program at the plant at the time of the incident. We urge other companies to incorporate our recommendations at their facilities and to assess the state of their cultures to promote safety at all organizational levels to prevent a similar accident," said CSB Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland.

Management of the company, as well as safety reviews, failed to identify the issue over a 12-year span, according to the agency.

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