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New Service Helps ABS Consulting Clients Recover Following Major Incidents

Events involving significant releases, fires, or explosions can result in loss of life, damage to the facility, business interruption, and regulatory agency investigations. Through onsite support, investigation activities, and follow-up, ABS Consulting helps clients return to safe operations.

One aspect of the investigation will include interfacing with regulatory agencies. ABS Consulting's practical experience with agencies, including OSHA, CSB, EPA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Coast Guard, can guide you through the inspection process.

In addition to dealing with regulatory agencies, ABS Consulting helps clients:

Learn more about ABS Consulting's Major Incident Response Services.

Related Training:

ABS Consulting Participates in Fourth Annual Maintenance & Reliability Symposium

ABS Consulting will be exhibiting during the Houston Chapter of the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals' Fourth Annual Maintenance & Reliability Symposium on August 19-20, 2010, in Galveston, Texas. Look for ABS Consulting at Booth #211.

Michael Courtney, ABS Consulting Senior Maintenance Management Consultant, will be presenting "SMRP Body of Knowledge Directorate – Providing Value to Our Members" on August 19. For more information, visit http://www.smrphouston.org/events.htm.

CSB Issues Report on 2009 Explosion at Veolia ES Technical Solutions, L.L.C. Hazardous Waste Facility; Waste Industry Urged to Improve Safety Standards; Recommendations Issued to Ensure Safer Siting of Buildings

A U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) case study released on the 2009 explosion and fire at the Veolia ES Technical Solutions L.L.C. facility in West Carrollton, Ohio, calls on the industry to improve safety standards covering hazardous waste processing, handling, and storage facilities. The Board also recommended that fire protection codes be revised to require companies to determine safe distances between occupied buildings and potentially hazardous operating areas.

The accident occurred on May 4, 2009, when flammable vapor was released from a waste recycling process, ignited, and violently exploded. The blast seriously injured 2 workers and damaged 20 nearby residences and 5 businesses. CSB investigators found that the north wall of the lab and operations building – where the victims were injured – was less than 30 feet from the waste recycling processing area where the flammable vapor was released.

CSB Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said, "This accident should not have happened. Our report notes that OSHA cited the company for inadequate attention to process safety management practices in the handling of flammable liquids. But in case of an accident, believe it is absolutely critical that buildings at chemical facilities be sited safe distances from process equipment to maximize the safety of workers. We are making recommendations that would help ensure that operating areas with occupied buildings such as control rooms be sufficiently separated from process areas containing flammable liquids and gases that have the potential to explode."

The Board issued a recommendation to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), which develops codes and standards for industry, urging NFPA to require companies to perform engineering analyses to determine safe separation distances between buildings occupied by administrative and other personnel not essential to process operations, and buildings housing the potentially hazardous process equipment.

The Board also revised a previous recommendation to the Environmental Technology Council, a hazardous waste industry trade group, to petition the NFPA to develop a standard specific to hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities. This would include guidance on reducing the likelihood of fires, explosions, and releases of hazardous waste.

Dr. Moure noted, "The Environmental Technology Council did not respond adequately to our 2007 recommendation, which we issued following an explosion and massive fire at the Environmental Quality hazardous waste facility in Apex, North Carolina, to work for more stringent standards in the hazardous waste industry. I strongly urge the industry to act now. These facilities, by their nature, contain wide varieties of flammable and toxic materials that can cause significant injury to workers and threaten the well being of nearby communities. Facility owners and operators need stricter technical requirements to improve the safety of life and property."

The report notes that after a normal run of the tetrahydrafuran (THF) solvent recovery process at the Veolia facility, the unit operator began a routine shutdown. Completing the process required blowing nitrogen back through the circulation piping to clean it, prior to closing valves.

CSB lead investigator Johnnie Banks said, "At the time of the shutdown, witnesses reported hearing the sound of a sudden, loud vapor release and smelling a very strong odor of THF solvent which knocked several employees to their knees. It was a matter of just a couple of minutes until the highly flammable vapor ignited."

The vapor drifted to the laboratory and operations building and found an ignition source inside the building. A worker in the control room reported being enveloped in a fireball that went through the building. The first explosion knocked over a bank of lockers, severely injuring an employee and pinning him underneath.

Because of the extensive fire damage, the CSB was unable to conclusively determine the exact initiating event for the vapor release, concluding one of two possible scenarios likely occurred. In the first scenario, air may have been drawn into a tank containing THF residue and peroxides, causing increased pressure in the tank and forcing flammable vapor from the tank to escape through a manway cover or a vacuum breaker.

In the second possible scenario, CSB investigators believe a line hose, intended to send pressurized nitrogen into a different tank, may have instead been connected to a tank containing unprocessed, flammable liquid. When the nitrogen was applied, it forced flammable vapor out through the tank vent. In either scenario, the vapor drifted to the operations building and ignited, causing the injuries.

In addition to issuing recommendations to NFPA and the hazardous waste industry, the Board also issued recommendations to Veolia, which is rebuilding the plant. The CSB called on the company to restrict occupancy in buildings in close proximity to the operating plant to personnel trained in the safe operation and orderly shutdown of the plant. The Board also called on the Center for Chemical Process Safety, a division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, to revise control room siting guidelines to address the characteristics of all Class 1B flammable liquids.

The CSB is an independent federal agency charged with investigating serious chemical accidents. The agency's board members are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. CSB investigations look into all aspects of chemical accidents, including physical causes such as equipment failure as well as inadequacies in regulations, industry standards, and safety management systems.

The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. For more information, visit www.csb.gov.


SMRP Maintenance & Reliability Symposium

SMRP Maintenance & Reliability Symposium
August 19-20, 2010
Galveston, TX
Booth #211


Compliance Auditing with PSM Overview
September 15-17, 2010 - ABS Consulting - Knoxville, TN

Compliance Auditing
September 16-17, 2010 - ABS Consulting - Knoxville, TN

Learn how to prepare for and conduct PSM and RMP compliance audits with exercises that include a simulated audit and a closing meeting. Take our regular two-day version in conjunction with our Process Safety Management course (with savings if you sign up for both). Or take the three-day version, where the first-day is a regulatory refresher overview on process safety for those who do not need to take the full Process Safety Management course.

Clean Water Compliance Institute
September 14-16, 2010 - Hilton Garden Inn - Las Vegas, NV

Get a comprehensive overview of the regulations, permitting programs, and compliance requirements under the Clean Water Act, including NPDES permits, Section 404 and storm water construction permits, TMDL requirements, current trends in EPA enforcement, and changes to SPCC plans you should have.



ClassPass™ Discount Coupons

Great savings and flexibility for you and your company. Savings of up to 57% per day on any ABS Consulting public training course – one coupon per day (or partial day) per person. Passes may be used by anyone in the company. A 20-day Gold package is now only $5000 (a savings of over 35% off the former price) and a 50-day Platinum package is now only $11,500 (a savings of over 36% off the former price). Click here for details.

Upcoming Courses: August 2010 - September 2010

*Take two or more courses during the same week to SAVE! Combination options are highlighted. View the course calendar for a complete list of courses.


Certified ISO 14001 Lead Auditor**
August 16-19 - Chicago, IL

Certified ISO 14001/OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor**
August 16-20 - Chicago, IL

Implementing ISO 14001
September 8-10 - Houston, TX

Environmental Compliance Bootcamp
September 13-17 - Las Vegas, NV

Clean Water Compliance Institute
September 14-16 - Las Vegas, NV

Certified ISO 9001 / OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor
September 20-24 - Las Vegas, NV

SPCC Plans Made Easy
September 20-21 - Las Vegas, NV

Stormwater Discharge Regulations
September 22-23 - Las Vegas, NV

Regulatory Inspection Planning
September 28-29 - Knoxville, TN



Consequence Analysis
August 16-20 - Knoxville, TN

Facility Siting Hazard Analysis Techniques
August 25-27 - San Antonio, TX

Risk Management Program Compliance
August 31 - Knoxville, TN

Resubmitting EPA RMPlans
September 1 - Knoxville, TN

Process Safety Management Compliance*
September 13-15 - Knoxville, TN

Compliance Auditing*
September 16-17 - Knoxville, TN

Compliance Auditing with PSM Overview
September 15-17 - Knoxville, TN

Hazard and Accident Analysis
September 20-22 - Knoxville, TN

Reliability Management
September 27-28 - Houston, TX

Reliability Centered Maintenance
September 29-October 1 - Houston, TX



Certified OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor**
August 17-20 - Chicago, IL
September 21-24 - Las Vegas, NV



ISO 9001 Internal Auditor
August 30-September 1 - Houston, TX

Certified ISO 9001 Lead Auditor
September 20-23 - Las Vegas, NV

Nonconformities, Corrective and Preventive Action
September 27 - Houston, TX



ISPS Code Security Officer*
August 16-18 - Houston, TX

Maritime Security Implementation*
August 19-20 - Houston, TX



Welding Inspections for Superintendents**
August 16-17 - Houston, TX

Main and Auxiliary Engine Inspections for Superintendents**
August 18 - Houston, TX

Hull Inspections for Bulk Carriers**
August 19 - Houston, TX

ISPS Code Implementation: Drills & Exercises**
August 19-20 - Houston, TX

Electrical, Electronics, Controls and Telecommunications Inspections for Superintendents**
August 20 - Houston, TX

Maritime Root Cause Analysis and Incident Investigation
August 24-25 - Norfolk, VA
September 21-22 - Houston, TX

MODU Code - Design & Construction**
August 25-27 - Houston, TX

ISO 14001:2004 Internal Auditor**
August 30-31 - Houston, TX

Fundamentals of FPSO / FSO Structures**
September 1-3 - Houston, TX

Fire and Life-Saving Aspects of Floating Offshore Installations**
September 20-21 - Houston, TX

Management of Change**
September 7 - Houston, TX

Fundamentals of Self-Elevating MODU Structures**
September 8-10 - Houston, TX

ISO 14001:2004, Awareness and Implementation**
September 13 - Houston, TX

Maritime Labour Convention (ILO-MLC, 2006), Compliance**
September 14-15 - Houston, TX

Ship Fabrication: Electrical and Automation Systems**
September 14-15 - Houston, TX

Crisis Management and Emergency Response**
September 16 - Houston, TX

Shaft Alignment for Superintendents**
September 16-17 - Houston, TX

Fundamentals of Surface Type MODU Structures**
September 16-17 - Houston, TX

Tanker Safety Officer**
September 20-21 - Houston, TX

ISO 9001, QMS - Lead Auditor**
September 20-23 - Las Vegas, NV

LPG Carriers: Operational and Technical Overview**
September 21-22 - Port Arthur, TX

Environmental Officer**
September 22-23 - Houston, TX

Effective Implementation of an SMS: DPA Requirements**
September 27-28 - Houston, TX

We're sure you'll be satisfied with the content of our courses. If you're not, tell us why in a brief letter, and we will credit your investment toward another course.
**No training discounts apply.

For more information...

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