February, 2003

This is a repeating event

200320FebAll DayCTA Acoustics Dust Explosion 2003CTA Acoustics, Inc. Corbin (US-KY) Origin: CSB Lessons:Asset integrity,Control of Work,Process Knowledge,Risk AssessmentIndustry:ManufacturingCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Operator error

Summary

A February 20, 2003, dust explosion at the CTA Acoustics, Inc. (CTA) facility in Corbin, Kentucky, killed seven and injured 37 workers. This incident caused extensive damage to the production area of the 302,000-square-foot plant. Nearby homes and an elementary school were evacuated, and a 12-mile section of Interstate 75 was closed. The largest CTA customer, Ford Motor Company, temporarily suspended operations at four automobile assembly plants because CTA had produced acoustic insulation products for those plants, as well as for other industrial and automotive clients.

KEY ISSUES:
• COMBUSTIBLE DUST HAZARD AWARENESS
• WORK PRACTICES
• BUILDING DESIGN
• PRODUCT STEWARDSHIP

ROOT CAUSES:
1. CTA management did not implement effective measures to prevent combustible dust explosions.
2. The CTA cleaning and maintenance procedures for production lines did not prevent the accumulation of unsafe levels of combustible dust on elevated flat surfaces.
3. The CTA incident investigation program did not ensure that all oven fires were investigated and that underlying causes were identified and resolved.
4. The Borden Chemical product stewardship program did not explicitly convey to CTA the explosive hazards of phenolic resins.
5. The original building design and subsequent building modifications did not effectively address the fire and explosion hazards associated with combustible dusts.


Image Credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

X