Home | Products and Services | Training | E-Newsletter Archive


Industry News

ABS & Affiliated Companies Provides Free Guest Pass to OTC 2011

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) will be held in Houston, Texas, at the Reliant Center at Reliant Park May 2-5, 2011. Register today for your free guest pass to OTC. The ABS sponsored Guest Pass provides access to the exhibition. Please register for your free day pass using the online registration. For instructions about how to register online, download this PDF. Also, you can register at Reliant Center. Print out the Guest Registration Form and Schedule at a Glance and bring it with you to the conference. You will need to enter your information at the registration kiosk at Reliant Center to retrieve your pass. Note that the ABS Guest Card company number is 3017544.

Visit ABS Consulting at booth 2816 to learn more about our offshore life-cycle safety, risk and integrity services:

Lars Samuelsson, Manager, Renewable Energy, of ABS Consulting and Qing Yu and Pao-Lin Tan of ABS will be presenting "Design Considerations for Offshore Wind Turbines in US Waters - The American Way" on Thursday, May 5, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. This paper addresses unique design considerations for the support structure of an offshore wind turbine in US waters and how the Working Stress Design (WSD) approach can be applied.

For more information, visit http://www.otcnet.org.

Receive 20% Off ABS Consulting's Root Cause Analysis Handbook

Solve problems efficiently and effectively with ABS Consulting's proven SOURCETM investigation process. The handbook was written by investigators with extensive, practical investigation experience from the world's leading process safety management organization.

Order the Root Cause Analysis Handbook before May 31, 2011, from the publisher for 20% off! Order at http://www.rothstein.com and enter coupon code "abs2011" at checkout (prepaid orders only).

New Guidance Documents Explain Importance of Testing in Reducing, Preventing Worker Exposure to Respiratory Hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) have developed two guidance documents, one for workers and one for employers, which describe the use of spirometry testing to help reduce and prevent worker exposure to respiratory hazards.

Spirometry is a common pulmonary function test that measures how well a person moves air in and out of the lungs. Workers who inhale some types of dusts, gases, or other air contaminants can, over time, experience lung damage. The spirometry test may detect breathing problems or significant changes in a worker's lung function at an early stage. The information in these new guidance documents assists employers with identifying and eliminating hazardous workplace exposures and helping reduce or prevent the chances of workers developing lung disease.

The new OSHA-NIOSH-produced Infosheet for employers clarifies what spirometry is, when it is needed, and critical elements that employers can use to evaluate the quality of spirometry services provided to their workers. The Infosheet also describes how monitoring workers' lung function over time can help individuals by identifying problems early and make the workplace safer by identifying when workplace respiratory hazards are causing problems that must be corrected. The companion document, OSHA-NIOSH Worker Info, explains to workers the importance of taking a spirometry test, what to do during the test, and their right to receive an explanation and copy of test results.

"Spirometry is the best available test for early detection of decreasing or abnormal lung function," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "Our joint effort with NIOSH in developing these products will help broaden outreach and enhance knowledge of preventive measures aimed at protecting worker health and safety."

"We are pleased to join with OSHA in emphasizing the important role of spirometry in preventing costly, debilitating, and potentially fatal occupational lung diseases," said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. "These tests are a vital component of health and safety programs in workplaces where workers may be exposed to hazardous airborne contaminants."

OSHA also recommends spirometry testing for workers exposed to diacetyl and diacetyl substitutes. The agency recently issued a Safety and Health Information Bulletin on Occupational Exposure to Flavoring Substances: Health Effects and Hazard Controls and a companion Worker Alert on Diacetyl and Substitutes. These documents recommend that employers include spirometry testing in their medical surveillance programs to identify workers experiencing adverse health effects from exposure to flavorings, including food flavorings containing diacetyl.

For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

CSB Releases New Safety Video: "Fire in the Valley" Depicts Catastrophic Explosion and Fire at Bayer CropScience Facility in 2008

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released a new safety video depicting events leading to the August 28, 2008, catastrophic explosion and fire at the Bayer CropScience facility in Institute, West Virginia, that fatally injured two workers.

The video is entitled "Fire in the Valley," a reference to the Kanawha River valley where numerous chemical facilities are located, including the Bayer plant that manufactures insecticides, near Charleston, West Virginia.

The video features a detailed computer animation showing how a series of errors and deficiencies during a lengthy startup process resulted in a runaway chemical reaction inside a residue treater pressure vessel. The CSB's investigation found that operators were not adequately trained, new computer process equipment had not been fully checked out, and a critical safety interlock was bypassed to begin a chemical reaction.

Investigations Supervisor John Vorderbrueggen, P.E., discusses the CSB's findings: "We found serious deficiencies in the company's process safety management program. This resulted in a series of critical omissions during the startup that led to a runaway reaction and violent explosion."

These events contributed to the overpressurization of the residue treater which ultimately exploded and careened into the methomyl pesticide manufacturing unit, leaving a huge fireball in its' wake.  Pieces of the vessel struck a steel-mesh covering surrounding a large tank of methyl isocyanate (MIC), a highly toxic chemical of concern to residents of the valley since 1984 when an accidental release of MIC in Bhopal, India, killed thousands.  

In the video, CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso says, "The communities surrounding Bayer CropScience have been concerned for decades about the MIC stored there.  Its presence added even more gravity to the series of safety lapses the CSB investigation found to have preceded the tragedy. And when the accident occurred, the company refused to give out critical information to responders and the public."

Ultimately, 40,000 area residents were requested to shelter-in-place the night of the accident. The video features comments by county and state officials on the initial refusal of Bayer to provide information to Metro 911 emergency response operators as well as resident's concerns about chemical plant safety in the area. "Fire in the Valley" also details the key CSB safety recommendation that Kanawha Valley county authorities emulate the regulatory regime of Contra Costa County, California. There, chemical process safety experts regularly inspect the multitude of facilities throughout the county in a program that is paid for by a proportional levy on the plants. The program's director, Randy Sawyer, comments in the CSB video on the success of the program.

Chairperson Moure-Eraso concludes the video by saying, "Good communications between chemical plants, responders, and community leaders can help assure the safety of workers and residents during an emergency. But preventing accidents requires companies to have effective process safety management programs. The fact that accidents continue to occur shows the need for improved inspections and oversight whether at the federal or local levels."

The CSB's safety videos are provided free of charge. DVD compilations may be requested at www.csb.gov. They are available for viewing and downloading on the Web site, at www.safetyvideos.gov and on YouTube.

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.

For more information, visit www.csb.gov.


RIMS 2011 Annual Conference & Exhibition

RIMS 2011 Annual Conference & Exhibition
May 1-5, 2011
Booth #1227


Offshore Technology Conference 2011

Offshore Technology Conference 2011
May 2-5, 2011
Houston, TX
Booth #2816



Environmental Compliance Bootcamp
June 13-17, 2011 - Holiday Inn Oceanfront - Hilton Head Island, SC

This granddaddy of environmental bootcamp courses helps both those new to the environmental field and those who need a refresher learn about the major environmental laws and regulations, including Clean Air, Clean Water, RCRA, Superfund, EPCRA, PCBs, asbestos, underground and aboveground storage tanks, storm water, and spill prevention, as well as giving insight into environmental audits and inspections.

Hazard and Accident Analysis
June 20-23, 2011 - ABS offices - Arlington, VA

Learn techniques for qualitatively identifying and assessing the hazards associated with process systems. Your organization can use the various methods (e.g., what-if, checklist, fault tree) to conduct the rigorous hazard identification, hazard analyses, and accident analyses required for Department of Energy authorization basis documents.

Discount of the Month

Onsite Training Discount

Onsite Course Discount

Attend one of our public course offerings to get a first-hand view of how our courses can help your personnel. If you like what you see and hear and you schedule an onsite offering of the same course at your facility within 6 months, we will credit the cost of the public course against the onsite course fee. No training discounts apply to the Certified ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor Training courses. Discounts may not be combined with other discounts. Click here for details.

Upcoming Courses: April 2011 - June 2011

*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.


Environmental Compliance Bootcamp
June 13-17 - Hilton Head Island, SC

TSCA and Its International Counterpart
May 10-11 - Washington, DC

SPCC Plans Made Easy
May 16-17 - Houston, TX

RCRA Compliance Bootcamp
May 16-20 - Houston, TX

Underground and Aboveground Storage Tanks
May 18-19 - Houston, TX

Certified ISO 9001/OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor
June 13-17 - Philadelphia, PA

Clean Water Compliance Institute
June 14-16 - Hilton Head Island, SC

Implementing ISO 14001
June 14-16 - Hilton Head Island, SC



Process Safety Management Compliance
May 16-18 - New Orleans, LA

Compliance Auditing
May 19-20 - New Orleans, LA

Quantitative Analysis Techniques
May 16-20 - Knoxville, TN

Facility Siting Hazard Analysis Techniques
June 8-10 - San Antonio, TX

Process Hazard Analysis Leader
June 13-17 - Knoxville, TN

Management of Change
June 20-21 - Houston, TX

Revalidating PHAs
June 22-23 - Houston, TX

Advanced PHA leader
June 24 - Houston, TX

Root Cause Analysis and Incident Investigation
June 20-22 - Hilton Head Island, SC

Human Error Prevention
June 23-24 - Hilton Head Island, SC

Hazard and Accident Analysis
June 20-23 - Arlington, VA



Certified OHSAS 18001 Lead Auditor
June 14-17 - Philadelphia, PA



ISO 9001 Lead Auditor
June 13-16 - Philadelphia, PA



Shaft Alignment for Superintendents
April 20-21 - Houston, TX

ISPS Code Security Officer
May 2-4 - Houston, TX

ISO 28000 Internal Auditor - Supply Chain Security
May 9-12 - Houston, TX

Maritime Labour Convention (ILO-MLC, 2006), Compliance
May 12-13 - New York

Fundamentals of Structures for Surface Type MODU's
May 16-17 - Houston, TX

Tanker Safety Officer
May 16-17 - Houston, TX

Negotiation Skills and Brainstorming Techniques for Marine Personnel
May 18 - Houston, TX

Marine Coatings - Application, Maintenance and Inspection
May 18-20 - Houston, TX

Communication Skills
May 19 - Houston, TX

Marine Coatings: Practical Implementation of PSPC
May 20 - Houston, TX

Classification and Statutory Surveys for Superintendents
May 24-25 - Houston, TX

LNG Transport - Operational & Technical Overview
May 26-27 - Houston, TX

Chemical Tankers: Operational and Technical Overview
May 31-June 1 - Houston, TX

ISM Code Internal Auditor
June 21-23 - 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.

For more information...

Contact ABS Consulting directly via e-mail, telephone, or fax...

traininginfo@absconsulting.com | Tel: 1-800-769-1199 | Fax: 1-281-673-2931

OR submit a question or request and we'll get back to you...

Send me the ABS Consulting E-newsletter


About ABS Consulting | Products and Services | Software Solutions | Training Solutions | Newsroom | Contact Us