February, 2001

This is a repeating event

200102FebAll DayBethlehem Steel Fire 2001Bethlehem Steel Corp. Chesterton (US-IN) Origin: CSB Lessons:Control of Work,Operational Integrity,Operational ReadinessIndustry:Metal ProcessingCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Maintenance error

Summary

On February 2, 2001, a fire occurred at Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s Burns Harbor mill in Chesterton, Indiana. One Bethlehem Steel millwright and one contractor supervisor died. Four Bethlehem Steel millwrights were injured, one seriously. Workers were attempting to remove a slip blind and a cracked valve from a coke oven gas line leading to a decommissioned furnace. During removal of the valve, flammable liquid was released and ignited.

KEY ISSUES:
• MAINTENANCE JOB PLANNING
• FACILITY WINTERIZATION & DEADLEGS
• LINE & EQUIPMENT OPENING
• DECOMMISSIONING & DEMOLITION

ROOT CAUSES:
1. Management systems for the supervision, planning, and execution of maintenance work were inadequate.
2. The Burns Harbor facility did not have a system for monitoring and controlling hazards that could be caused by changes in COG condensate flammability or accumulation rates.


Image Credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

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