The Chemical Safety Board Contemplates Reprimanding OSHA on Lack of Action

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) will hold a public meeting on July 25 in Washington to consider whether OSHA adequately has implemented seven regulatory recommendations issued by the CSB, as well as to consider the selection of the agency’s first “Most Wanted Chemical Safety Improvement.”  This action would mark the first time the agency’s board members have selected special advocacy initiatives related to chemical safety.

The morning session of the meeting will include consideration by CSB board members to designate the following recommendations CSB has made to OSHA as “Open-Unacceptable Response,” signifying that the board does not consider that OSHA has adequately implemented these recommendations:

  1. Recommendation No. 2001-05-I-DE-R1: Calls upon OSHA to ensure coverage under the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, at 29 CFR 1910.119, for atmospheric storage tanks that could be involved in a potential catastrophic release as a result of being interconnected to a covered process with 10,000 pounds of a flammable substance. This recommendation was issued following the CSB’s investigation of the 2001 atmospheric tank explosion at the Motiva Delaware City Refinery.
  2. Recommendation No. 2005-04-I-TX-R9: Calls upon OSHA to revise the PSM standard to require management of change reviews for organizational changes such as mergers and acquisitions that could impact process safety. This recommendation was issued following the CSB’s investigation of the March 2005 BP Texas City Refinery Fire and Explosion.
  3. Recommendation No. 2010-07-I-CT-UR1: Calls upon OSHA to issue a fuel gas safety standard for both general industry and construction. This recommendation was issued following the CSB’s investigations of the February 2010 incident at Kleen Energy in Middletown, Conn., and the June 2009 explosion and ammonia release at ConAgra in Garner, N.C.

During the afternoon session, the board will consider designating four recommendations it made to OSHA calling for a comprehensive general industry standard for combustible dust as “Open-Unacceptable Response.” These recommendations resulted from CSB’s investigations of the 2008 explosions and fire at the Imperial Sugar Refinery in Port Wentworth, Ga., and three dust-related incidents at the Hoeganaes Corp. in Gallatin, Tenn.

The board also will consider designating a combustible dust standard as the agency’s first “Most Wanted Safety Improvement,” which will trigger more intense agency advocacy efforts.

The hearing is free and open to the public. During both the morning and afternoon sessions, members of the audience will have an opportunity to provide comments on the pending actions to be voted by the board. The meeting will be held at the Horizon Room at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC. The morning session will start at 9:30 a.m.; the afternoon session will begin at 1:30 p.m.

The Chemical Safety Board Contemplates Reprimanding OSHA on Lack of Action
EHS Today

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