by , on February 20, 2013

The final report from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has been released regarding an electric arc furnace explosion that killed two workers and injured two others at Carbide Industries in Louisville, KY in March of 2011.  According to the final report, the accident resulted from the company’s failure to investigate other, less critical explosive incidents over several years and deferring crucial maintenance of the large electric arc furnace involved in the explosion.

The fatalities and injuries are thought to be the result of water leaking into the electric arc furnace causing an “over-pressure event”, causing the contents of the furnace to reach temperatures of approximately 3800 degrees Fahrenheit. According to CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso , “This accident is literally a case study into the tragic, predictable consequences of running equipment to failure even when repeated safety incidents over many years warn of impending failure.”

While this is not an arc flash incident it is a common issue of running equipment to failure. Proper equipment maintenance prevents incidents.

View the full case study by the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (PDF)

Hugh Hoagland
About author:
Hugh Hoagland is the foremost tester of clothing and PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Read more about Hugh.

1 Comment on "CSB Releases Final Report on Carbide Industries Explosion that Killed Two in Louisville, Kentucky in 2011"

Munro's Safety Apparel - 28 February 2013 Reply

Just another example of how regular maintenance and proper incident reporting can help prevent serious injuries and death. It may take some time to file reports for even miniscule accidents as well as to thoroughly inspect equipment, but in the long run you are working to keep employees safe, which should be one of the highest priorities of any business.

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