November, 2014

This is a repeating event

201415NovAll DayDupont (La Porte) Toxic Release 2014DuPont La Porte (US-TX) Origin: CSB Lessons:Commitment & Culture,Emergency Preparedness,Management of Change,Operating Procedures,Process Knowledge,Risk Assessment,Stakeholder EngagementIndustry:ChemicalsCountry:United StatesLanguage:ENLoC:Operator error

Summary

On November 15, 2014, approximately 24,000 pounds of highly toxic methyl mercaptan was released from an insecticide production unit (Lannate® Unit) at the E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont) chemical manufacturing facility in La Porte, Texas. The release killed three operators and a shift supervisor inside a manufacturing building. They died from a combination of asphyxia and acute exposure (by inhalation) to methyl mercaptan.

KEY ISSUES:
• EMERGENCY PLANNING & RESPONSE (PREPAREDNESS)
• IMPLEMENTATION OF PROCESS SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
• ASSESSMENT OF PROCESS SAFETY CULTURE

ROOT CAUSES:
1. DuPont’s corporate process safety management system did not ensure that DuPont La Porte implemented and maintained an effective process safety management system; and
2. DuPont La Porte did not assess its culture for process safety in the site’s Safety Perception Surveys or any other formal assessment program, allowing serious process safety deficiencies to exist at the site.


Image credit: CSB

Origin

CSBUS Chemical Safety Board

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