At the time of the incident, a heat exchanger was being brought online when the nearly 40-year-old piece of equipment catastrophically failed, spewing highly flammable hydrogen and naphtha which ignited and exploded.

At the time of the incident, a heat exchanger was being brought online when the nearly 40-year-old piece of equipment catastrophically failed, spewing highly flammable hydrogen and naphtha which ignited and exploded.
Photo courtesy of CSB


Noting that leading insurance industry statistics indicate that the U.S. refining sector has more than three times the rate of property losses of refineries overseas, Dr. Rafael Moure-Eraso, chairperson of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, urges companies to take action to prevent accidents in a safety video.

The video highlights the CSB’s investigation into the April 2, 2010, accident at Tesoro Refinery in Anacortes, Wash., that killed seven workers. At the time of the incident, a heat exchanger was being brought online when the nearly 40-year-old piece of equipment catastrophically failed, spewing highly flammable hydrogen and naphtha which ignited and exploded.

In the safety message, Dr. Moure-Eraso says, “The Tesoro accident is only one of several fatal incidents that occurred in the oil and gas production and refining sector in 2010 alone. Serious incidents at refineries continue to occur with alarming frequency.”

The CSB video calls on refineries to take to reduce the risk of catastrophic accidents such as:
  • Implement a robust mechanical integrity programs with an emphasis on thorough inspections of critical equipment.
  • Monitor process safety performance using appropriate leading and lagging indicators to measure process safety before major accidents occur.
  • Maintain an open and trusting safety culture where near-misses and loss of containment incidents are reported and investigated.
To view this videos and others from the CSB, visit www.csb.gov.

Links