Based on findings from a decade of accident investigations, a safety video from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) demonstrates the need for emergency response agencies, companies and communities to work together to prepare for chemical accidents.
"Emergency Preparedness: Findings from CSB Accident Investigations" uses computer animations, interviews and news footage to depict a series of chemical accidents that illustrate the need for effective training, communications and community planning. In some incidents, firefighters and police were overcome by toxic chemicals and forced to retreat from neighborhoods; in others, firefighters and workers were tragically killed and others injured.
In addition to comments by CSB investigators and board members, the video includes interviews with fire chiefs, a state fire marshal and an expert on emergency preparedness and local emergency planning.
The video begins with an animation of a boiling liquid expansion vapor explosion, or BLEVE, in a large propane tank that killed two firefighters and injured seven others in a 1998 accident in Albert City, Iowa. The firefighters had not received accurate training or guidance on BLEVE hazards and had approached within 100' of the burning tank when it suddenly blew apart.
"The Herrig Brothers farm explosion animation provides a tragic but important starting point for the video," said board member William Wark. "Every day, firefighters face challenges like these and sadly, sometimes lose their lives. We hope the video will make the case that training and communication are critical so that responders can do their jobs without death or injury."
The video is available online at www.CSB.gov, www.safetyvideos.gov, and YouTube. In addition, it can be ordered as part of a two-DVD set of that includes all of the CSB's safety videos. To request the DVDs, fill out the request form at www.CSB.gov.