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This page contains previous items from our Latest News feature.

CSB Deploys to Fatal Incident in Ohio

Publish Date: 2021-04-09
Category: Industry News

The U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is deploying to Columbus, Ohio, to investigate a fatal explosion that occurred at the Yenkin-Majestic Paints and OPC Polymers manufacturing site. Initial reports state that around midnight on Thursday April, 8th an explosion and two-alarm fire erupted, killing one employee and eight more injured people were transported to local hospitals.

CSB Closes Three Recommendations to CGA

Publish Date: 2021-04-08
Category: Industry News

At a public meeting on April 2, 2021, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) closed three recommendations resulting from the agency's investigation into the 2016 nitrous oxide explosion at the Airgas manufacturing facility in Cantonment, Florida. The blast killed an Airgas employee working at the facility and heavily damaged the plant, halting its manufacturing of nitrous oxide indefinitely. The following recommendations were issued to the Compressed Gas Association (CGA):

Recommendation: Develop and implement a safety management system standard for nitrous oxide manufacturing to manage known process safety hazards, including nitrous oxide decomposition.

Resolution: CGA published Guideline for Process Safety Management (CGA P-86) that addresses not only the hazards associated with nitrous oxide but also the hazards for all processes within the industrial and medical gases industries. CSB changed the status of the recommendation to “Closed – Exceeds Recommended Action.”

Recommendation: Modify CGA standard, Safe Practices for Storage and Handling of Nitrous Oxide (G-8.3) , to require testing of safety for applications where a safety device is used to quench a nitrous oxide decomposition reaction.

Resolution: CGA published the third edition of CGA G-8.3, Safe Practices for Storage and Handling of Nitrous Oxide (CGA G8.3) , with changes directed at preventing the hazard. CSB changed the status of the recommendation to “Closed - Acceptable Alternative Action.”

Recommendation: Modify CGA standard CGA, Safe Practices for Storage and Handling of Nitrous Oxide (G-8.3) , to reference and require applying International Society of Automation (ISA) standard, Functional Safety: Safety Instrumented Systems for the Process Industry Sector (ISA-84) , to safety interlocks, such as the nitrous oxide pump “run-dry” shutdown.

Resolution: CGA G-8.3 now clarifies that the requirements for dry running protection are considered critical for safety, and references ISA -84 and requires its application in evaluating safety interlocks, such as dry running protection for pumps in the nitrous oxide industry. CSB changed the status of the recommendation to “Closed - Acceptable Action.”

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.

Primatech Exhibiting at 2021 AIChE Virtual Spring Meeting and 17th Global Congress on Process Safety

Publish Date: 2021-03-24
Category: Primatech News

Primatech is exhibiting at this year’s GCPS, April 18-23, 2021 virtually. Be sure to visit our new booth and talk with our staff members Steven Baybutt, Shawn Metzler, and Kim Carnahan to discuss how Primatech's consulting, software, training, and certifications can assist in meeting your organization's process safety needs.

The Primatech booth will feature demos of the company’s flagship software, PHAWorks RA Edition (with Bow Tie and Data Analytics features) and our entry-level software, PHAWorks Lite.

See about Primatech at this year’s GCPS.

EPA RMP - Public Meeting Required After Incidents with Off-Site Consequences

Publish Date: 2021-03-17
Category: Industry News

Effective March 15, 2021, facilities covered by EPA’s Risk Management Program (RMP) are required to hold a public meeting within 90 days of any incident that results in off-site impacts. These impacts include deaths, injuries, evacuations, sheltering in place, property damage, or environmental damage. Covered facilities include oil refineries, chemical plants, paper mills, food processing operations, and water and sewerage treatment plants.

The requirement is part of the Risk Management Program (RMP) revised rule issued by EPA in 2017. Most of the rule was withdrawn in 2019 but much of the public meeting requirement was retained.

OSHA Launches Program Protecting Workers from Coronavirus

Publish Date: 2021-03-16
Category: Industry News

On March 12, 2021, OSHA announced that it has launched a national emphasis program (NEP) focusing enforcement efforts on companies that put the largest number of workers at serious risk of contracting the coronavirus. NEP inspections will enhance the agency’s previous coronavirus enforcement efforts, and will include some follow-up inspections of worksites inspected in 2020. The program’s focused strategy ensures abatement and includes monitoring the effectiveness of OSHA’s enforcement and guidance efforts. The program will remain in effect for up to one year from its issuance date, though OSHA has the flexibility to amend or cancel the program as the pandemic subsides.

CSB Statement on Lessons from Hurricane Harvey Following Recent Extreme Weather in Houston

Publish Date: 2021-03-05
Category: Industry News

On March 4, 2021, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued a statement from its Chairman, Katherine Lemos, on lessons from Hurricane Harvey that are relevant for the recent extreme weather in Houston, TX.

The statement recalled that the CSB investigated the process safety incident that occurred at the Arkema Chemical Plant in Crosby, Texas on August 31, 2017. Heavy rain from Hurricane Harvey flooded plant equipment causing chemicals to decompose and burn, releasing fumes and smoke into the air. The CSB investigated the incident and found a lack of industry guidance on planning for flooding or other severe weather events.

The CSB expressed concern that recent extreme weather in Houston may also result in process safety incidents. The statement noted that the U.S. epicenter of oil and gas manufacturing, which is located in the Houston area, was forced to shut down its operations due to below freezing temperatures. The CSB stated that shutdowns and start-ups present great risk when it comes to facility operations, particularly because an expedited shutdown can result in unexpected and unusual situations.

The CSB noted that a 2010 study found that 50 percent of process safety incidents in the refining industry occur during startups, shutdowns, and other events that occur infrequently. Furthermore, the majority of the CSB's refinery investigations have occurred during non-routine operations such as a shutdowns, turnarounds or start-ups.

The CSB stated that it is important that equipment and safeguards are fully functional before restarting plants that were forced to shut down and that facilities should pay particular attention to process safety requirements during this critical period to assure a safe and expeditious return to operation. Equipment, tanks, and instrumentation should be thoroughly evaluated for damage prior to startup. The CSB noted that the release of hazardous chemicals tends to be a prevalent problem when restarting without fully inspecting equipment to ensure it was not damaged as a result of extreme weather.

OSHA has proposed an update to the Hazard Communication Standard

Publish Date: 2021-02-17
Category: Industry News

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a proposed rule to update to the agency's Hazard Communication Standard to align with the seventh revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals . OSHA expects the update will further improve information on the labels and Safety Data Sheets for hazardous chemicals. The proposed modifications will also address issues since implementation of the 2012 standard, and improve alignment with other federal agencies and Canada.

The deadline for submitting comments related to the proposed rule is April 19, 2021.

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.

UPDATE - New Appeals Court Interpretation of the PSM Standard

Publish Date: 2021-01-13
Category: Industry News

Update - As a result of the lower court's decision on this case, the US Supreme Court will now hear an appeal of the case. Wynnewood Refining argues that without access to waivers, many small refineries won't be able to keep their doors open.


In 2012, a natural gas explosion in a steam boiler at the Wynnewood Refinery in Oklahoma resulted in two workplace fatalities. OSHA pursued an enforcement case against the refinery claiming that the steam boiler was a PSM-covered process, even though it did not contain any highly hazardous chemicals, because it was interconnected to two other units at the refinery that were subject to PSM.

A recent decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed OSHA’s interpretation by stating that a vessel does not need to contain a highly hazardous chemical to be subject to the PSM standard provided the vessel is interconnected to a process that is subject to the standard.  Scalia v. Wynnewood Refining Co., LLC, __  F.3d. __ (10th Cir. 2020) 2020 WL 6279210.

As a consequence of the decision, OSHA may expand the boundaries of PSM-covered processes to include additional equipment, which would impact what must be addressed by facility process safety programs. EPA’s RMP Program 3 facilities are also impacted.

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