This is a time to make sure no more lives are claimed by this tragedy and no further delays occur in the production of essential transportation fuels and chemicals. Facilities should pay particular attention to process safety requirements during this critical period to assure a safe and expeditious return to operation.The CSB cited three catastrophic incidents that had occurred
during the startup of continuous process equipment, killing 22 workers and causing 170 injuries.
While these incidents had a variety of causes, their occurrence underscores the hazards of startup even under “normal” conditions. In the wake of the hurricane, adhering to appropriate safety management systems can spell the difference between a safe and uneventful startup and a serious incident.The Board recommended that facilities adhere to management of change processes before modifying any startup procedures, ensuring that adequate staffing and expertise are available, that up-to-date startup procedures are used that that non-essential personnel are kept a safe distance from the operations.
The Board provided sample checklists and urged facilities
to recognize that "human performance may be compromised due to crisis conditions." Board Chairman Carolyn Merritt added that "Many employees in the region have lost homes or loved ones in the hurricane, adding to the stress of an already difficult work situation."