CSB finds cause of June’s Goodyear plant explosion
August 20, 2008
Washington, DC – The June 11 Goodyear plant explosion in Houston, Texas that killed one employee and injured seven others was caused by a blocked pressure-release valve, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announced today.
Following the blast, Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston) called for the CSB to conduct an investigation, saying it was the only independent federal agency charged with uncovering the root causes of chemical accidents. Green is chairman of the Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials, which has jurisdiction over the CSB.
“I am relieved that the CSB heeded our call to proceed with an investigation of this tragic accident.” Green said. “Workplace accidents are far too common and we must ensure we don’t make the same mistakes twice when hazardous materials are involved. Today we have learned that a pressure relief system error likely caused the loss of a life, which should be a wake-up call to companies operating similar equipment.”
Chairman Green met with CSB Chairman John Bresland in July to get an update on the status of the CSB investigation and discuss the CSB’s essential functions. The two discussed increased communication and cooperation between the CSB and Congress.
“In Texas, we are grateful to the CSB for their important work following the BP Texas City explosion in 2005,” Green remarked. “I look forward to working with the CSB leadership to ensure that they have all the necessary resources and authority to do their job, which is essential to worker safety in Texas’s chemical industry.”
In a CSB press release, Bresland said the continuing investigation into the Goodyear accident “would likely focus on the company’s practices for managing, inspecting, and maintaining relief systems; training operators; and accounting for workers during emergencies.”