Accident: Kaltech Industries Waste Mixing Explosion
Location: Location: New York , NY
Accident Occurred On: 04/25/2002 | Final Report Released On: 09/30/2003
Accident Type: Reactive Incident
Investigation Status: The Board approved the final report on this investigation at a public meeting in New York City on September 30, 2003.
On April 25, 2002, an explosion occurred at Kaltech Industries, a sign manufacturer in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, injuring 36 people seriously enough to seek hospital treatment, including 14 members of the public. The explosion, which was the result of a reaction between waste chemicals, originated in the basement of a mixed-use commercial building and caused damage as high as the fifth floor.
Communicate the findings of this report to your membership.
Develop and implement a written hazard communication program that includes the following requirements:
Maintaining a list of hazardous materials used in the workplace.
Labeling of hazardous materials.
Maintaining material safety data sheets and making them
available to the workforce.
Training of employees on chemical hazards and their safeguards in languages understood by the workforce.
Implement hazardous waste management practices that include
Characterization of unknown waste materials prior to mixing
Labeling of all waste containers with the words ?Hazardous
Waste? and any other wording necessary to communicate
the specific hazards associated with the material.
Formal hazardous waste management training program.
Revise the Fire Prevention Code, Title 27, Chapter 4, of the
New York City Administrative Code, to achieve more comprehensive control over the storage and use of hazardous materials, such as nitric acid, that could cause a fire or explosion when inadvertently mixed with incompatible substances. Base these revisions on model fire codes such as the International Code Council International Fire Code and the National Fire Protection Association Fire Protection Code. Require that:
All hazardous materials be identified and labeled.
Hazardous materials permit applications include the submission of a management plan and inventory statement.
Material safety data sheets be accessible to the workforce.
Personnel working with hazardous materials be trained on
hazards and safe handling techniques in languages understood by the workforce.
Incompatible chemicals be adequately separated to improve
safety in manufacturing facilities.
New York City fire inspectors receive sufficient training to
meet the requisite skills and knowledge to verify code
compliance and recognize problems regarding the storage,
handling, and use of hazardous materials. Include in the
Hazard communication requirements.
Identification of hazardous materials storage and use
Safe storage and handling practices, such as the need to
separate incompatible chemicals and to limit quantities.
Amend the New York City Administrative Code § 27-4267 to require that: The owner or other person having charge of a mixed occupancy building with a hazardous occupancy be required to develop a building hazardous materials safety plan and designate a responsible individual to ensure that the plan is implemented. The building hazardous materials safety plan incorporate information from the hazardous materials management plans, inventory statements, right-to-know facility inventory forms, and Fire Prevention Code permits of any tenants who use hazardous materials. The building hazardous materials safety plan be distributed to all tenants.
Ensure that the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and the Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) establish a program to exchange facility information regarding hazardous chemical inventories to enhance inspection and enforcement activities.
Establish a complaint and referral system with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA; Region II) to provide for a coordinated enforcement effort that addresses the following issues: Policy and practice for referring to OSHA possible health and safety violations or unsafe conditions observed by FDNY personnel in the course of conducting inspections, but outside the scope of FDNY responsibility. Periodic training programs for FDNY personnel on how to recognize and refer serious workplace safety and health problems.
Raise the priority of inspections of large quantity generators
located in mixed-occupancy facilities within densely populated
Share data, such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery
Act (RCRA) biennial report, with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) concerning the identity, location, and hazardous waste inventories of large quantity generators within the City to enhance inspection and enforcement activities.
Disseminate information on the requirements of the Hazard
Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, in the major
languages spoken by workers in New York City with limited or no
English speaking proficiency.
Establish a complaint and referral system with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) to provide for a coordinated enforcement effort that addresses the following issues:
Policy and practice for referring to OSHA possible health
and safety violations or unsafe conditions observed by
FDNY personnel in the course of conducting inspections,
but outside the scope of FDNY responsibility.
Periodic training programs for FDNY personnel on how to
recognize and refer serious workplace safety and health