CSB Deploys to site of second flash fire at Hoeganaes Corporation

Published:  31 March, 2011

The US Chemical Safety Board is deploying a team to the site of a flash fire at the Hoeganaes Corporation in Gallatin, Tennessee. The incident occurred during maintenance on a burner and is the second flash fire that has occurred at the Hoeganaes facility since January.

One worker was fatally injured and another seriously burned as a result of a January 31 incident.  CSB Investigator-in-Charge Johnnie Banks is leading the investigation; he arrived at Gallatin yesterday to begin gathering information.

Johnnie Banks said, “We are concerned that we are looking at a second serious incident within a short period of time at this facility. We will be looking at whether these two accidents share a root cause and indicate broader safety issues that may need to be addressed.”

After returning to Gallatin, the CSB team will conduct interviews with eyewitnesses and document site conditions. The Hoeganaes facility is largest major producer of atomized steel powder.

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.

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