Today marks the four-year anniversary of the Imperial Sugar Refinery disaster in Port Wentworth, Georgia, where a massive sugar dust explosion killed 14 workers and injured 38 others. Following the tragedy, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) issued a series of safety recommendations to the refinery, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and others aimed at preventing a similar occurrence.
In a recent statement from CSB Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso, he commended refinery officials for taking action on the facility-specific recommendations. "We recommended Imperial Sugar comply with NFPA's recommended practices for preventing dust fires and explosions, and urged the company to conduct a comprehensive review of all of its manufacturing facilities’ adherence to NFPA standards," says Moure-Eraso. "We recently received notice from Imperial Sugar’s property insurer...that it is providing its risk engineers ongoing training in the hazards of combustible dusts, which we recommended."