Washington, DC, March 30, 2011 – The CSB 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 is scheduled to arrive in Gallatin this evening 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.
The Board does not issue citations or fines but does make safety recommendations to plants, industry organizations, labor groups, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA and EPA. CSB’s final report including can be viewed at www.csb.gov.
For more information, contact Public Affairs Specialist Hillary Cohen, 202-261-3601, 202.446.8034 or Sandy Gilmour, 202-261-7614, cell 202-251-5496.