CSB Requests Closure of US Refinery

photo : http://www.ksl.com/

The US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has requested the closure of the Silver Eagle Refinery located in Utah, USA. According to CSB President, John Bresland, the CSB team found widespread safety problems at the refinery during the investigation into the November 4th explosion at the plant.

According to Mr Bresland, the CSB team had developed a number of serious concerns about the integrity of the piping and equipment at the refinery. The team found a  lack of required documentation to demonstrate fitness for service of various pieces of equipment.

The explosion on 4th November was caused by a release of hydrogen due to a burst in a 10-inch pipe. CSB investigators found that the pipe "showed evidence of significant thinning which had not been detected by the refinery's mechanical integrity program". The explosion, in the diesel hydrotreater unit, caused damage to homes in the surrounding area and was felt several miles away from the facility

The refinery will restart after repairs and safety inspections are completed.

This is yet more evidence that regulators are becoming tougher in dealing with process safety issues. This blog fully supports this tougher stance. Incidents such as this are fully preventable if organisations are proactive in process safety management (PSM) and have a strong PSM strategy and culture throughout the organisation.

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