Friday, December 07, 2007


  • Pan American Airlines incorporates
  • 1st automatic record changer introduced by His Master's Voice
  • Pulitzer prize awarded to Louis Bromfield
  • Supreme Court ruled bootleggers must pay income tax
  • Henry Ford stops producing Model T car
  • Chicago Cubs beat Boston Braves, 4-3, in 22 innings YES! Dang I will never see a winning season.

What does this list have to do with NY? The NY fire code was last updated the same year as these events were recorded. Now that's old school! Believe it or not there were no required fire plans for big restaurants, theaters, and department stores and no sets rules for hazard chemical storage. Heck Toco Bell has it's own for both.

While tragic events like the WTC attack and the famous Rhode Island nightclub fire had it's role in the fire code revision announced by New York's Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta
I firmly believe that the involvement of the CSB got the job done.

An explosion Kaltech Industries Group, Inc., (were 31 people were injured, including 14 who were not employees) was caused by the mixture of lacquer thinner and nitric acid and ripped through to the fifth floor of the building.

The investigation found that:
  • The Company management did not provide workers with sufficient information about the hazardous chemicals stored and used there.
  • The company was not in compliance with several important waste disposal requirements.
With contributing factors being:
  • Lack of sufficient chemical safety precautions in the New York City fire code
  • The failure of government inspections to detect unsafe practices.
CSB Past Chairman Carolyn Merritt stated: "Hazardous materials need to be identified, labeled, and managed under an approved plan. Incompatible materials need to be separated. Finally, workers need to be trained in their own language and provided with material safety data sheets that indicate known hazards. These measures, most of which are already part of model fire codes, will go a long way toward preventing future chemical accidents in New York City."

If your not familiar with the CSB's work you really have to view just one of their comprehensive final reports they leave no stone unturned. The final Kaltech Industries Group, Inc. report includes:
  • Background
  • Investigative Process
  • Building Description
  • Kaltech Industries Group, Inc.
  • Pre-Incident Events
  • The Incident
  • Incident Aftermath
  • Explosion Origin
  • Explosion Cause
  • Workplace Practices
  • FDNY Regulations
  • New York City Fire Prevention Code
  • Model Fire Codes
  • NYSDEC Regulations
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • RCRA Subtitle C Requirements
  • NYSDEC Region 2 RCRA Subtitle C Inspections
  • NYCDEP Regulations
  • OSHA Regulations
  • HAZCOM Requirements
  • Flammable and Combustible Liquids Requirements
  • OSHA Citations
  • OSHA Enforcement Policy
  • Root Causes
  • Contributing Causes
  • CSB Recommendations
  • Logic Diagram
It really is amazing with such a small budget they can accomplish the impossible. The CSB is not enforcement or regulatory however they give recommendations. The CSB insures truth has been told and the knowledge is passed on for both the public and the government agencies. It would do for the rest of our government to use the CSB as a template for their endeavors.

Thanks for all the efforts and obvious sensitivity you have given not only the workers but also the families during this time. Thumbs Up

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