Friday, January 04, 2008

At Least Two more Weeks of Investigating

The T2 (Jacksonville, FL) blast was "one of, if not the most powerful explosion ever investigated by the board and was equivalent to 1 ton of t-n-t", Hall said.

The initial blast of unstable chemicals was caused by pressure build up in the chamber which was originally part of the mixing process but must have exceeded the pressure limit of several thousand pounds per square inch.

The second explosion was described as a huge fireball when
a pipe ruptured at the top of a tower on the property and a white cloud appeared before the explosion. This fireball was caused by the contents of the chamber hitting heat and oxygen.

Although the CSB plans to be in Florida for two more weeks they feel the area is still hazardous and will not be able to sort through the pieces of rubble until the area is deemed safe. The CSB is unsure of the impact this disaster will and has had but will continue to work with the U.S. EPA and Florida Department of Environmental Protection to determine the outcome.

The CSB made recommended, in
2002, that OSHA make improvements on Reactive Chemical Management stating that it was a "significant chemical safety problem" with little than OSHA declaring it was open.

Chairman Carolyn Merritt expressed her disappointment in letter 2004 to John Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA, CSB establishing the entire board designated OSHA's Response as Unacceptable and requested action once again by OSHA.

OSHA's lack of motivation in amending the
Process Safety Management Standard (PSM) will undoubtedly cause further grief, injury and losses in future catastrophic events.

One thing we can always count on with a CSB investigation is they will determine the cause and release the information in full to the families of the 4 lost and 14 injured. The CSB will also set forth new recommendations if needed for OSHA, MSDS, FPA, and any other agency that they feel would benefit from the lessons learned in the incident.

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