Accident: Yenkin-Majestic Resin Plant Vapor Cloud Explosion and Fire
Location: Location: Columbus, OH
Accident Occurred On: 04/08/2021 | Final Report Released On: 11/30/2023
Accident Type: Explosion and Fire
Investigation Status: The CSB's final report was released on November 30,2023.
An April 8, 2021, explosion and fire erupted at the Yenkin-Majestic paint and OPC Polymers Corporation. One employee was fatally injured and eight were transported to area hospitals for injuries. The blast shook neighboring buildings and at least one nearby business sustained damage.
Develop specific design, construction, and alteration guidance for low-pressure process vessels in flammable and other highly hazardous chemicals service not exceeding an internal pressure of 15 psig in API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspection Code, API RP 572 Inspection Practices for Pressure Vessels, and/or other appropriate products. At a minimum, include guidance for:
(i) determining and documenting the low-pressure vessel’s design pressure (such as through a data sheet and a nameplate affixed to the vessel);
(ii) determining when or if all or parts of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code should be applied;
(iii) acceptable alternative engineering methods, if applicable; and,
(iv) alteration requirements, such as design assessments, inspections, and pressure testing.
Assist API in developing design, construction, and alteration guidance for low-pressure vessels in flammable and other highly hazardous chemicals service not exceeding an internal pressure of 15 psig. If any new design and construction guidance is specifically developed for pressure vessels in flammable and other highly hazardous chemicals service not exceeding an internal pressure of 15 psig, reference the design and construction guidance in the Section VIII, Division 1 of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC).
Update mechanical integrity procedures for all process vessels in highly hazardous chemicals service, including pressure vessels not exceeding 15 psig, to adopt alteration guidance in API 510 Pressure Vessel Inspection Code or Part 3 of the National Board Inspection Code.
Assess and document applicable design, construction, and alteration standards for all pressure vessels in highly hazardous chemicals service in new resin plant designs, including pressure vessels not exceeding 15 psig. At a minimum, adopt PIP VESLP001 Low-Pressure, Welded Vessel Specification as design and construction guidance for pressure vessels not exceeding 15 psig. Implement a program to assess the pressure vessels against updated applicable recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices, such as those published by API, ASME, PIP, and other organizations, at least once every five years, and address the gaps identified. Develop and implement written procedures to document and maintain records of (i) all inspections of, (ii) all alterations to, and (iii) all maintenance and repairs on all pressure vessels in highly hazardous chemicals service.
Demonstrate the use of prevention through design using the hierarchy of controls in future resin plant designs. Specifically, prioritize inherently safer design and engineering controls to prevent process safety events. Refer to sources such as Safety Instrumented Systems: A Life-Cycle Approach by P. Gruhn and S. Lucchini, Human Error in Process Plant Design and Operations – A Practitioner’s Guide by J. Robert Taylor, Guidelines for Preventing Human Error in Process Safety by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), Guidelines for Inherently Safer Chemical Processes – A Life Cycle Approach by the CCPS, and Guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety by the CCPS for guidance. Demonstration could include documentation of conceptual design safety reviews, hazard analysis and risk assessments of detailed project designs, and a plan to address the recommendations to control the hazards.
Identify and document all equipment that could release flammable materials and install LEL detectors in accordance with sources and guidance such as Guidelines for Engineering Design for Process Safety by the Center for Chemical Process Safety and Explosion Hazards in the Process Industries by Rolf K. Eckhoff. Ensure that detection of hazardous conditions automatically triggers both visual and audible alarms to alert plant personnel of the hazard. Develop and implement employee training on actions to take, such as prompt evacuation, when such alarms are activated.
Develop and implement requirements for personnel to wear flame-resistant uniforms in all operating areas that process flammable chemicals. Update employee training material to include the requirement for and purpose of PPE use.