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Technical & Practical

July 1, 2012

Working with the CSB After a Major Accident

When a serious accident occurs, the CSB may immediately investigate at the scene. Understanding the process helps companies prepare for such an investigation

Joseph Schreiber, Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease

After a serious accident at a chemical plant, petroleum refinery or other freestanding industrial facility, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB; www.csb.gov) may immediately initiate an investigation, often getting “in the air” while the emergency is still unfolding. The CSB team will consist of skilled accident investigators who are often accompanied by independent experts noted for their specialized knowledge of whatever systems or processes are to be investigated. They also arrive with legal authority — sometimes in the embodiment of accompanying federal marshals. All in all, the process is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced if your experience is limited to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Admin. (OSHA). This article aims to provide a sense of that process as well as some suggestions for managing it....

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