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This page contains previous items from our Latest News feature.

CSB Releases New Safety Video on Aghorn Operating H2S Release

Publish Date: 2021-07-29
Category: Industry News

On July 29, 2021, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released a safety video, "Silent Killer: Hydrogen Sulfide Release in Odessa, Texas". The video addresses  the October 26, 2019, hydrogen sulfide release at the Aghorn Operating waterflood station in Odessa, Texas. The release fatally injured an Aghorn employee who was working at the facility, as well as his spouse who attempted to locate him at the facility after he did not return home.

Six serious safety issues were identified and the CSB made seven recommendations to Aghorn Operating, Inc. for safety improvements at all waterflood stations where the potential exposure to dangerous levels of toxic hydrogen sulfide gas exists. The CSB also made two recommendations to federal and state regulators, OSHA and the Railroad Commission of Texas, addressing the requirements for protecting workers from hazardous air contaminants and from hazardous energy.

The video is available at www.csb.gov.

CSB Deploys to LyondellBasell Incident in La Porte, TX

Publish Date: 2021-07-28
Category: Industry News

On July 28, 2021, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) announced that it is deploying an investigative team to the scene of a chemical release at the LyondellBasell facility in La Porte, TX.

It is believed that about 100,000 pounds of acetic acid was released. There have been two fatalities and 42 people were reported to require treatment for injuries ranging from minor to critical. Of these, there were 30 hospitalizations.

For further information, check csb.gov.

CSB Deploys to Investigate Rockton, IL Fire

Publish Date: 2021-06-21
Category: Industry News

On June 21, 2021, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) deployed two investigators to Rockton, IL where a significant fire incident occurred at the Chemtool manufacturing facility on June 14th.

OSHA Notice of Informal Hearing on the Hazard Communication Standard

Publish Date: 2021-06-02
Category: Industry News

On May 20, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a notice of informal hearing on the agency's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The hearing will be held beginning September 21, 2021 at 10 a.m. EDT, and will be held virtually.

OSHA expects the HCS update will increase worker protections and reduce the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries by further improving the information on the labels and Safety Data Sheets for hazardous chemicals. Proposed modifications will also address issues since implementation of the 2012 standard, and improve alignment with other federal agencies and Canada.

Further details are available on OSHA’s website.

EPA Announces Public Listening Sessions on the Risk Management Plan Rule

Publish Date: 2021-06-01
Category: Industry News

On May 26, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced two upcoming virtual public listening sessions on the Agency’s Risk Management Plan (RMP) rule. The listening sessions are intended to give interested people the opportunity to present information, and provide comments or views pertaining to revisions made to the RMP rule since 2017.

EPA stated that the listening sessions are a first step in considering improvements to the RMP rule, so EPA can better address the impacts of climate change on facility safety and protect communities from chemical accidents, especially vulnerable and overburdened communities living near RMP facilities.

Virtual public listening sessions will be held on:

  • June 16, 2021, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST
  • July 8, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST

To foster continued coordination between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and EPA, OSHA will also participate in the listening sessions and receive comments on their Process Safety Management (PSM) standard, which contains similar requirements to the RMP rule.

Further details are available on EPA’s website.

CSB Releases Final Report into 2019 H2S Release at the Aghorn Operating Waterflood Station in Odessa, Texas

Publish Date: 2021-05-24
Category: Industry News

On May 21, 2021 the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released its final report on the October 26, 2019, hydrogen sulfide release at the Aghorn Operating waterflood station in Odessa, Texas.

The report identified these contributing causes to the release:

  • Non-use of personal H2S detector
  • Non-performance of lockout / tagout
  • Confinement of H2S inside pump house
  • Lack of safety management program
  • Non-functioning H2S detection and alarm system
  • Deficient site security

The report can be accessed on CSB’s website.

Primatech is pleased to offer comprehensive PHA data analytics in PHAWorks RA Edition.

Publish Date: 2021-04-01
Category: Primatech News

Primatech’s PHA tool is the only PHA software available that incorporates data analytics.

PHA studies produce recommendations for risk reduction but they contain a wealth of other information that typically is overlooked. PHA data analytics are used to extract valuable knowledge from PHA worksheets. They have many uses to improve process operability, reliability, utilization, safety, and loss prevention. Every person in a process facility can use or benefit from using PHA data analytics to accomplish their work, including designers, engineers, managers, operators, mechanics, PHA facilitators, process safety personnel, trainers, emergency responders, and others. Uses of PHA data analytics include:

  • Comparing  risk profiles of different processes, units, and operating regimes to guide the allocation of risk reduction resources
  • Identifying safety critical equipment for use in prioritizing maintenance for process equipment and safeguards
  • Supporting risk-based inspection programs for assuring asset integrity
  • Facilitating the management of safety instrumented systems, relief devices, alarms, and other safety systems
  • Identifying safety critical actions to highlight in the development and review of procedures
  • Developing initial and refresher training programs for front-line workers such as operators, mechanics, and contractors
  • Establishing competency requirements for facility personnel
  • Performing hierarchy of controls analysis for safeguards
  • Supporting safeguard bypass analysis using criticality ranking
  • Enabling the development and execution of an implementation plan for PHA recommendations
  • Identifying omissions and deficiencies in PHA studies, e.g. missing scenarios or inadequate safeguards
  • Comparing process risk profiles before and after a change to facilitate the management of change
  • Developing risk-based emergency response plans
  • Understanding causal factors in incident investigation
  • Auditing process safety programs
  • Supporting turnaround planning by displaying changes in the process risk profile to identify actions needed to manage the modified risks
  • Supporting the communication of risks to stakeholders
  • Providing a sound basis for communicating priorities for safety improvements to stakeholders
  • Sharing process safety insights and knowledge across facilities
  • Benchmarking PHA against other companies to facilitate the adoption of best practices

PHA studies require the investment of considerable resources. Consequently, the information they contain should be leveraged  for as many beneficial purposes as possible.

Six Fatalities at Plant in Georgia

Publish Date: 2021-01-29
Category: Industry News

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) has deployed a team to the Prime Pak Foods facility in Gainesville, Georgia to investigate a release of liquid nitrogen that reportedly led to six fatalities and  nine injuries requiring hospitalization.

CSB Deploys to Optima Chemical LLC Incident

Publish Date: 2020-12-14
Category: Industry News

The CSB has deployed an incident investigation team to the Optima Chemical LLC facility in Belle, WV. A shelter-in-place was ordered within a 2-mile radius of the facility after the incident occurred on Tuesday, December 8th. The CSB has initially reported a pressure vessel over-pressured, causing a fire which resulted in one fatality and at least two injuries. Debris from the incident was found up to a mile away.

Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper, On the Need for System-Theoretic Hazard Analysis in the Process Industries

Publish Date: 2020-12-01
Category: Primatech News

The paper will appear in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Volume 69, January 2021.

The article can be accessed for free on Science Direct until January 15, 2021 by clicking here. No sign up or registration is needed.


Most process hazard analysis (PHA) studies today are conducted using traditional methods such as the hazard and operability study (HAZOP). Traditional methods are based on a chain-of-events model of accident causality. Current models of accident causality are based on systems theory and provide a more complete representation of the causal factors involved in accidents. Consequently, it is logical to expect that PHA methods should reflect these models, that is, system-theoretic hazard analysis (STHA) should be used. Indeed, system-theoretic process analysis (STPA) has been developed as such a method. STPA has been used in a variety of industries but, at this time, it has not gained acceptance by the process industries. This article explores the reasons for this situation. Expectations for PHA in the process industries are examined and issues for the application of STPA in the process industries are discussed. It is concluded that a variety of matters must be addressed before STPA can be considered as a viable PHA method for the process industries and the case for the use of STHA in the process industries is not yet proven.