U.S. Chemical Safety Board Releases New Safety Digest After Four Disasters

Earlier this month, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued a new safety digest that highlights the importance of worker participation in chemical hazard training. Without engaged workers, serious catastrophes can occur.

On September 4, the U.S. CSB released its new safety digest, encouraging better worker participation in chemical training to prevent chemical accidents. The digest came after multiple incidents of worker injury and death as a result of inadequate and unengaging chemical hazard training.

A lack of worker participation proved to be a factor in four major incidents investigated by the CSB because employees and their representatives were not engaged to help identify hazards and reduce risks. While these incidents happened on different sites in different states, CSB investigators found that in each case, worker participation programs were inadequate despite the existence of federal regulations and industry standards.

“Worker engagement is key to an effective process safety program. After all, it’s employees who are so often in direct contact with the hazards—and have the experience and knowledge to prevent them,” said CSB Board Member Rick Engler.

The digest discusses four incidents that led to a total of 13 employee deaths, many injuries, and, in one case, 15,000 residents living near the facility seeking medical evaluation. The incidents took place at a site that manufactured explosives, a chemical production facility, and two oil refineries. They occurred in the states of Nevada, Washington, California, and Louisiana.

The CSB is an independent, non-regulatory federal agency whose mission is to drive chemical safety change through independent investigations to protect people and the environment. Read more about the topic and the safety digest from this CSB article.
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