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Imperial Sugar Company Dust Explosion and Fire
Location: Port Wentworth, GA
Accident Occurred On: 02/07/2008
Final Report Released On: 09/24/2009
Accident Type: Combustible Dust Explosion and Fire
Company Name: Imperial Sugar Company

statistics

Total # of Recommendations
11
Total # of Open Recommendations
1
Total # of Closed Recommendations
10
Total % of Open 9 vs. Closed 91

investigation information

Image
Accident Description
On February 7, 2008, a huge explosion and fire occurred at the Imperial Sugar refinery northwest of Savannah, Georgia, causing 14 deaths and injuring 38 others, including 14 with serious and life-threatening burns. The explosion was fueled by massive accumulations of combustible sugar dust throughout the packaging building.
Investigation Status
The CSB's final report was released at a public meeting in Savannah, GA on September 24, 2009.


 

Recommendations

AIB International
2008-05-I-GA-6

Incorporate combustible dust hazard awareness into employee and member companies’ training programs, such as the Safety and Health Management Systems training course. Include combustible dust characteristics, especially ignition energy and minimum explosible concentration; best practices for minimizing dust accumulation, especially on elevated surfaces; and safe housekeeping practices.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2008-05-I-GA-7

Add specific combustible dust inspection requirements and metrics to the Food Contact Packaging Facility audit procedures.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

American Bakers Association
2008-05-I-GA-8

Actively promote improvements in combustible dust hazard awareness and control throughout the wholesale baking industry by publishing bulletins or safety guidance that address combustible dust characteristics including ignition energy, minimum explosible concentration, best practices for minimizing dust accumulation, and safe housekeeping practices.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

Imperial Sugar Company
2008-05-I-GA-1

Apply the following standards to the design and operation of the new Port Wentworth facility:

  • NFPA 61: Standard for the Prevention of Fires and Dust Explosions in Agricultural and Food Processing Facilities
  • NFPA 499: Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas.
  • NFPA 654:Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing, and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids. 
  • NFPA Handbook, Electrical Installations in Hazardous Locations. 
  • NFPA 70 Article 500:Hazardous (Classified) Locations.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2008-05-I-GA-2

Conduct a comprehensive review of all existing Imperial Sugar Company sugar manufacturing facilities against the standards listed in recommendation R1 and implement identified corrective actions.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2008-05-I-GA-3

Implement a corporate-wide comprehensive housekeeping program to control combustible dust accumulation that will ensure sugar dust, cornstarch dust, or other combustible dust does not accumulate to hazardous quantities on overhead horizontal surfaces, packing equipment, and floors.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2008-05-I-GA-4

Develop training materials that address combustible dust hazards and train all employees and contractors at all Imperial Sugar Company facilities. Require periodic (e.g., annual) refresher training for all employees and contractors.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

2008-05-I-GA-5

Improve the emergency evacuation policies and procedures at the Port Wentworth facility; specifically,

  • Install an emergency alert (alarm) system in the facility, and
  • Require routine emergency evacuation drills and critiques.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
2009-05-I-GA-11

Proceed expeditiously, consistent with the Chemical Safety Board’s November 2006 recommendation and OSHA’s announced intention to conduct rulemaking, to promulgate a comprehensive standard to reduce or eliminate hazards from fire and explosion from combustible powders and dust.

Status: Open - Unacceptable Response
Open - Unacceptable Response (O - UR) - Recipient responds by expressing disagreement with the need outlined in the recommendation. The Board believes, however, that there is enough supporting evidence to ask the recipient to reconsider.
 

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Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
2008-05-I-GA-9

Require member companies to:

  • Develop and implement combustible dust hazard awareness training for all facility audit personnel, and
  • Incorporate combustible dust hazard identification in the audit protocols.

Status: Closed - Reconsidered/Superseded
Closed - Reconsidered/Superseded (C - R/S) - Recipient rejects the recommendation and also supports the rejection with a rationale with which the Board concurs. This designation may apply when later facts indicate that the concerns expressed in the recommendation were actually addressed prior to the incident, or when a recommendation is superseded by a new, more appropriate recommendation.
 

Zurich Services Corporation
2008-05-I-GA-10

Ensure that all risk engineers are trained in the hazards of combustible dust, and that refresher training occurs at regular intervals. Provide a copy of your combustible dust hazard awareness training materials to your clients who deal with combustible dust.

Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Closed - Acceptable Action (C - AA) - The recipient has completed action on the recommendation. The action taken meets the objectives envisioned by the Board.
 

 
 

Related Video

Inferno: Dust Explosion at Imperial Sugar
10/6/2009 4:00:00 AM
A massive dust explosion kills 14 and injures 36 read more

Download QuickTime Video

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