Imperial Sugar Final 20

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U.S. Chemical Safety Board's report on the Imperial Sugar plant blast in Georgia that killed 14 people.

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U.S. C H E M I C AL S AF E T Y AN D H A Z AR D I N V E S T I G AT I O N B O AR D

INVESTIGATION REPORTSUGAR DUST EXPLOSION AND FIRE(14 Killed, 36 Injured)

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onIMPERIAL SUGAR COMPANYPORT WENTWORTH, GEORGIA FEBRUARY 7, 2008

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KEY ISSUES: COMBUSTIBLE DUST HAZARD RECOGNITION MINIMIZING COMBUSTIBLE DUST ACCUMULATION IN THE WORKPLACE EQUIPMENT DESIGN AND MAINTENANCE

9. 24Report No. 2008-05-I-GA September 2009

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Draft Report

ContentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..........................................................................................................................1 1.0 INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................................................3 1.1 1.2 1.3 Background......................................................................................................................... 3

Imperial Sugar Company .................................................................................................... 6 1.3.1 1.3.2 Corporate Governance............................................................................................ 6 Corporate and Facility Management ...................................................................... 7

1.4

Facility Description............................................................................................................. 8 1.4.1 1.4.2 1.4.3 1.4.4 1.4.5 Granulated Sugar Storage Silos............................................................................ 10

Bosch Packing Building ....................................................................................... 15

Sugar Spillage and Dust Control .......................................................................... 17

2.1 2.2 3.0

Explosions and fires.......................................................................................................... 19

3.1 3.2 3.3

Combustible Dust Characteristics..................................................................................... 22

The Port Wentworth Incident............................................................................................ 27

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3.4

3.5 3.6

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3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.3 3.3.4 3.3.5

Ignition Sources ................................................................................................................ 35 3.4.1 3.4.2 Open Flames and Hot Surfaces ............................................................................ 35 Ignition Sources Inside the Steel Belt Enclosure.................................................. 36

Worker Training ............................................................................................................... 37 Hazards Management ....................................................................................................... 39

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Combustible Dust Explosions........................................................................................... 26

Pre-explosion Sugar Dust Incident History .......................................................... 28 Steel Belt Conveyor Modifications ...................................................................... 29 Primary Event Location........................................................................................ 29 Primary Event Combustible Dust Source ............................................................. 32 Secondary Dust Explosions .................................................................................. 34

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INCIDENT ANALYSIS................................................................................................................ 22

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Emergency Response ........................................................................................................ 21

Draft Report

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2.0

INCIDENT DESCRIPTION..........................................................................................................19

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South Packing Building ........................................................................................ 16

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Silos 1 and 2 Steel Conveyor Belt ........................................................................ 14

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Investigative Process........................................................................................................... 5

3.6.1 3.6.2 3.6.3 3.6.4 3.7

Evacuation, Fire Alarms, and Fire Suppression ................................................... 39 Electrical Systems Design .................................................................................... 40 Sugar Dust Handling Equipment.......................................................................... 44 Housekeeping and Dust Control........................................................................... 45

Dust Explosion Hazard Awareness................................................................................... 47 3.7.1 3.7.2 Imperial Sugar Management and Workers ........................................................... 47 Property Risk Insurers .......................................................................................... 51

4.0

REGULATORY ANALYSIS........................................................................................................53 4.1 4.2 Georgia Fire Codes ........................................................................................................... 53 Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ................................................ 54

5.0

MODEL FIRE CODES..................................................................................................................56 5.1 5.2 National Fire Protection Association ................................................................................ 56 International Code Council ............................................................................................... 57

6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0

AIB International .............................................................................................................. 58

The Sugar Association ...................................................................................................... 59

PREVIOUS CSB DUST EXPLOSION INVESTIGATIONS.......................................................61 KEY FINDINGS: ..........................................................................................................................63

RECOMMENDATIONS...............................................................................................................66 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5

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APPENDIX A INCIDENT EVENT SEQUENCE ..................................................................................71 APPENDIX B EXPLOSION PROGRESSION IN PACKING BUILDINGS ........................................ 80

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REFERENCES ..............................................................................................................................69

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Imperial Sugar Company .................................................................................................. 66 AIB International .............................................................................................................. 67 American Bakers Association........................................................................................... 68 Risk Insurance Management Society, Inc......................................................................... 68 Zurich Services Corporation ............................................................................................. 68

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INCIDENT CAUSES ....................................................................................................................65

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Sugar Industry Technologists ........................................................................................... 60

Draft Report

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American Bakers Association........................................................................................... 59

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TRADE ASSOCIATIONS ............................................................................................................58

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FiguresFigure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Figure 6. Figure 7. Figure 8. Figure 9. West bucket elevator tower; silos 3, 2, and 1; and south packing building............................... 4 Imperial Sugar Company organization prior to the incident ..................................................... 7 Port Wentworth, Georgia, organization prior to the incident ................................................... 8 Imperial Sugar facility before the explosion. ............................................................................ 9 Packing buildings first floor plan........................................................................................... 11 Silo tunnel and conveyor plan ................................................................................................. 12 Granulated sugar supply and discharge through the silos ....................................................... 13 Granulated sugar steel conveyor belts above the silos, circa 1990 ......................................... 14 Silo tunnel steel conveyor belt ...............................................................................

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