Still photo of CSB video detailing the issues behind the fire at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, TX, after the flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

As a part of the investigation into the fire of organic peroxides at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, TX, the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) found the team conducting process hazard analysis at the facility did not document the risk posed by severe flooding at the plant.

Having said that, though, a new, more detailed CSB video shows how the heroic ride out team at the facility continued to fight against nature and try to save the plant and its endangered chemicals.

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In the end, though, it was not enough as the chemicals heated up, decomposed and caught fire emitting fumes that injured at least 21 people and forcing the evacuation of 200 residents.

Schneider Bold

Along those lines, the CSB released a safety video about the incident at Arkema titled “Caught in the Storm: Extreme Weather Hazards.”

As the records showed, the rainfall the area faced was greater than a 500 year flood. Even if the Arkema team had evaluated the potential for flooding ,there is limited industry guidance on flooding, the CSB video said. If there was guidance, the CSB said, it would have been insufficient to protect against the hazards posed during Hurricane Harvey.

The CSB recommended:
• During process hazard analyses, or when performing a facility siting, companies should evaluate the potential risk of extreme weather events and the adequacy of safeguards
• Facilities should perform an analysis to determine what potential weather events they are susceptible to – such as flooding, earthquakes and high winds
• When considering flooding facilities should ensure that critical safeguards and equipment are not susceptible to failure by a common cause and independent layers of protection are available in the event of high water levels
• When evaluating and mitigating the risk from extreme weather events, facilities should strive to apply a sufficiently conservative risk management approach

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