“During production of an emulsion product, two incompatible chemicals were mixed. The chemicals reacted and produced flammable hydrogen gas that ignited, causing a massive explosion that killed four workers and destroyed the company’ production building.” So begins a new safety video that focuses on the investigation into an explosion and fire that occurred May 3, 2019, at the AB Specialty Silicones facility in Waukegan, Ill. The incident killed four workers, destroyed the facility and caused extensive damage to nearby businesses.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) safety video includes an animation of the events leading up to the incident and interviews with the CSB’s chairperson and lead investigator.  

In its report, the agency made recommendations to AB Specialty Silicones and reiterated recommendations to the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency with the goal of addressing the regulatory gap covering reactive chemicals.