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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation R-85-065
Details
Synopsis: AT 3:45 A.M., ON JULY 30, 1983, VINYL CHLORIDE MONOMER (VCM) UNDER PRESSURE ESCAPED FROM A RAILROAD TANK CAR AT THE LOADING FACILITY WITHIN THE FORMOSA PLASTICS CORPORATION (FORMOSA) CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING PLANT AT BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA. THE RELEASED VCM WAS IGNITED BY AN UNDETERMINED SOURCE, AND A LARGE BILLOWING FIRE ENSUED. AN ADJACENT TANK CAR CONTAINING VCM WAS INVOLVED IN THE FIRE BUT DID NOT RUPTURE VIOLENTLY. TWO PERSONS WERE INJURED SERIOUSLY, TWO TANK CARS WERE DESTROYED, THREE TANK CARS WERE DAMAGED MODERATELY, AND THE LOADING FACILITY WAS DAMAGED EXTENSIVELY. DAMAGE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE $1 MILLION.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT THE FORMOSA PLASTICS CORPORATION: ESTABLISH A TRAINING PROGRAM AND LOADING TURNOVER PROCEDURES FOR SUPERVISORS AND EMPLOYEES ASSIGNED TO LOAD HAZARDOUS MATERIALS FOR TRANSPORTATION.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Railroad
Location: Baton Rouge, LA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA83AZ006
Accident Reports: Vinyl Chloride Monomer Release from a Railroad Tank Car and Fire, Formosa Plastics Corporation Plant
Report #: RAR-85-08
Accident Date: 7/30/1983
Issue Date: 6/17/1985
Date Closed: 10/2/1987
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s): Cargo, Hazmat, Training and Education, Tank Car Loading and Unloading

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
Date: 10/2/1987
Response: The Safety Board appreciates the additional information outlining the various aspects of the training program that has been established for employees loading vinyl chloride. In again commending Formosa Plastics for its efforts to establish this training program, the Board has now placed Safety Recommendation R-85-65 in a "Closed-Acceptable Action" status.

From: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
To: NTSB
Date: 8/14/1987
Response: IN REPLY TO YOUR LETTER, THE FOLLOWING IS AN OUTLINE OF THE TRAINING REQUIRED FOR EMPLOYEES RESPONSIBLE FOR LOADING VINYL CHLORIDE INTO TANK CARS: I. OPERATOR TRAINING A. HANDS-ON TRAINING - 1 WEEK, WRITTEN TEST - 1 DAY SESSION B. STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES, REVIEWED ANNUALLY - 1 DAY SESSION C. FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION TRAINING, NEW HIRES AND PERIODICALLY THEREAFTER - 4 HOUR SESSION II. GENERAL TRAINING A. VINYL CHLORIDE TRAINING AS PER 29 CFR 1910.1017, 1 HOUR SESSION - ANNUALLY B. RESPIRATOR TRAINING PER 29 CFR 1910.134, 1 HOUR SESSION - ANNUALLY C. HAZARD COMMUNICATION TRAINING AS PER 29 CFR 1910.1200, 1 HOUR SES SION - ANNUALLY D. HEARING CONSERVATION TRAINING AS PER 29 CFR 1910.95, 1 HOUR SESSION - ANNUALLY E. SAFETY MEETING TRAINING, 1 HOUR SESSION - MONTHLY, AT LEAST INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING: 1. RESPIRATORY TRAINING, 2. HAZARD COMMUNICATION TRAINING (SPECIFIC CHEMICALS), 3. SAFETY EQUIPMENT CHECK LIST.

From: NTSB
To: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
Date: 7/20/1987
Response: The Safety Board notes that a training program has been established and that turn-over procedures and checklists are part of the standard operating procedure used by all employees loading vinyl chloride. We note further that several in-house training sessions have been conducted by Federal Railroad Administration personnel to assist the plant in assuring that railroad and tank car handling procedures are understood and followed. In commending Formosa Plastics for its effort to establish a training program, the Safety Board, because of its continued interest in the area of training, would appreciate a brief outline of what the training consists of, including the time devoted to the training and the frequency that employees receive training. Pending a further response to the Board's inquiries, Safety Recommendation R-85-65 will be held in an "Open-Acceptable Action" status.

From: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
To: NTSB
Date: 5/28/1987
Response: THE SUGGESTED TRAINING PROGRAM HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED AND IS IN EFFECT. TURNOVER PROCEDURES AND CHECKLISTS ARE PART OF THE STANDARD PROCEDURE USED BY ALL EMPLOYEES LOADING VINYL CHLORIDE. SEVERAL IN-HOUSE TRAINING PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED BY FRA PERSONNEL TO ASSIST THE PLANT IN ASSURING THAT RAILROAD AND TANK CAR HANDLING PROCEDURES ARE UNDER STOOD AND FOLLOWED.

From: NTSB
To: Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A.
Date: 5/11/1987
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency with the statutory responsibility "to promote transportation safety by conducting independent accident investigations and by formulating safety improvement recommendations" (Public Law 93-633). The Safety Board is vitally interested in any actions taken as a result of its Safety Recommendations. Our records show, however, that we have not received a response from the Formosa Plastics Corporation regarding the recommended actions. We would appreciate being informed as to what efforts are being made to implement these recommendations. The Safety Board's letter including these recommendations is enclosed for your information.