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Chemical Safety Videos Released

by Jeff Johnson
January 12, 2009 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 87, Issue 2

Freezing weather and declining profits are seemingly unusual causes of deadly—yet avoidable—accidents at chemical companies and oil refineries; that’s the message from two new videos produced by the Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board. The four-minute videos are based on actual accidents that the board has investigated. One shows several accidents that occurred when companies cut back on process safety measures due to hard times and lower profits. The other focuses on winterization and encourages companies to watch for piping problems that occur when water freezes, expands, and cracks process piping, resulting in leaks, fires, and explosions. Rixio E. Medina, health and safety vice president for Citgo Petroleum, applauds the proactive nature of the videos. “The message on safety cutbacks is particularly timely,” he says, noting he just began similar conversations with safety managers at Citgo’s three refineries and half-dozen plants and terminals. Now, he has sent the videos to all Citgo plant managers, safety team members, and top leaders. Medina says the videos are especially important as economic pressures encourage process managers to take cost-saving actions that may lead to lethal accidents. The videos are available on YouTube and at


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