The combustible dust explosion at the Imperial Sugar refinery in Port Wentworth, Ga., which claimed the lives of 14 workers, injured 36, and caused extensive property damage on February 7, 2008, is the focus of a safety video released by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board.
The Imperial Sugar accident was the deadliest industrial dust explosion in the United States in decades. Because of this incident and others, U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a proposed standard for combustible dust. OSHA will hold two stakeholder meetings in December to discuss combustible dust workplace hazards.
The video, "Inferno: Dust Explosion at Imperial Sugar," includes a four-minute 3D computer animation depicting the first explosion -- known as a primary event -– that likely occurred inside a recently enclosed sugar conveyor. That was followed by massive secondary dust explosions that destroyed the plant's sugar packing buildings.
As CSB Chairman John Bresland noted in the video, "The accident at Imperial Sugar…illustrates the extremely serious nature of combustible dust hazards."
The video is available on the CSB's web site as well as the agency's YouTube channel. Free DVDs can be requested by completing the online request form.