CSB to Release Final Investigation Report on PCA Explosion

The explosion occurred at the company’s Pulp and Paper Mill during hot work activities during the facility’s annual shutdown, killing three contract workers and injuring seven others.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board has announced it will release its final report April 24 on the Feb. 8, 2017, explosion at the Packaging Corporation of America plant in DeRidder, Louisiana. The explosion occurred at the company’s Pulp and Paper Mill during hot work activities during the facility’s annual shutdown, killing three contract workers and injuring seven others.

On the morning of the incident, an employee of the mill used a gas detector to check for a flammable atmosphere in and around the water piping and found none, but a nearby storage tank went unchecked and posed a serious safety hazard. On the day of the incident there was more flammable turpentine present in the tank than expected, and because of non-routine conditions during the facility shutdown, there was more air than usual in the vapor space of the tank, resulting in an explosive atmosphere.

An animation released by CSB earlier this month explains that the board was unable to determine an exact source of ignition but sparks or molten slag produced from the hot work likely landed on or near the tank, heating up the wall of the tank or igniting its contents. The tank exploded and separated from its base, launched up and over a six-story structure, and landed approximately 375 feet away.

CSB Chairperson Vanessa Allen Sutherland, Board Member Kristen Kulinowski, and Lead Investigator Jerad Denton are scheduled to answer media questions about the report on April 24.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • 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.

  • Everything You Need to Know about Incident investigations

    Need some tips for conducting an incident investigation at work after there’s been an occupational injury or illness, or maybe even a near miss? This guide presents a comprehensive overview of methods of performing incident investigations to lead you through your next steps.

  • 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

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2020

    November December 2020

    Featuring:

    • COLD STRESS
      Managing Cold Stress
    • TRAINING: FALL PROTECTION
      Providing Training for Fall Protection
    • PPE: HEARING PROTECTION
      Eight Tips for Hearing Testing Day
    • FACILITY SECURITY
      Incorporating COVID-19 Protections into Safety Programs
    View This Issue