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Safety board issues new draft strategic plan

August 28, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 35

The Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is seeking comments on a draft strategic plan released last week. The plan indicates that the board mostly will continue its efforts over the past three years; however, the board seeks to increase its focus on disseminating reports and findings more broadly through greater outreach. CSB has conducted more than 40 investigations since it began operating in late 1997 and has doubled the number of accident reports from four in 2002 to eight in fiscal 2006. The board notes that it can examine only a small number of chemical industry accidents. For instance, CSB reports that it screened some 645 chemical accidents in a recent 12-month period and found that the consequences of 18 accidents were serious enough to merit an investigation. However, the board's resources were sufficient to send investigators to only seven sites, and only five full-scale investigations resulted. From 1998 to 2006, the board issued 383 safety recommendations, of which 36% addressed significant national and corporate risks. CSB also notes that the average duration of the eight investigations reported in fiscal 2006 was 15 months, and the average cost of investigations was $159,000. The strategic plan is required every three years and can be seen at


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