A chemical plant accident can have catastrophic consequences. Loss of life and people who otherwise suffer severe, even debilitating injuries oftentimes stem from these types of disasters. A federal governmental agency known as the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board exists to promptly investigate chemical plant accidents and prepare detail reports on why an incident occurred, including an explosion accident. Unfortunately, the investigatory agency has fallen what some describe as hopelessly behind in its work to ascertain the cause of chemical plant disasters, much to the detriment of the American people.
History of Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board has been in operation for a period of about two decades. The agency describes its operations and mission in this way:
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board(CSB) is an independent, nonregulatory federal agency that investigates the root causes of major chemical incidents.
Our mission is to drive chemical safety change through independent investigations to protect people and the environment. The agency was created under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
During its 20-year history, the agency has deployed to over 130 chemical incidents and issued more than 800recommendations that have led to numerous safety improvements across a wide variety of industries.
During its initial 20 years in operation, the agency was diligent in completing investigations into chemical plant accidents, including explosion accidents. The agency averaged 40 important recommendations to enhance chemical plant safety each year during that time period.
Budgets Cuts and Investigatory Collapse at the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
When it comes to efficiently investigating chemical plant accidents and making important recommendations to improve safety, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board experienced a significant slowdown in the past several years. During the last presidential administration, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board faced what some have described as extreme budget cuts. In fact, at the end of the last administration, the President had zeroed out the agency’s budget.
The agency experienced another major problem during the last presidential administration. The board normally is comprised of five members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. During the course of the past four years, four board members’ terms can to their ends. The prior administration did not appoint anyone to fill the vacant the positions, leaving the board itself with only one member.
As a consequence of the funding limitations at the agency coupled with the lack of board members, the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board is significantly behind on investigations into chemical plant accidents. At best, the agency is able to complete a typical investigation that would have taken a matter of a few months within a timeframe that extends a couple of years or even longer.
Not only are important safety recommendations not being made at the rate of approximately 40 a year, but they really are also no longer being made at all. As a consequence, the reasons chemical plant accidents have occurred are not being appropriately documented. Moreover, lessons learned from chemical plant accidents are not being recorded and made available to other facilities in order to enhance worker and community safety.
Protecting Your Interests in a Chemical Plant Accident
The only sure way a chemical plant worker or a member of the general public can protect his or her legal interests in the wake of a chemical plant accident is to seek representation for a qualified, experienced lawyer. The chemical plant accident lawyer team at The Doan Law Firm is available to assist you if you find yourself in such a situation.
You can connect with a Doan Law Firm chemical plant accident lawyer any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000. Our hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including all major holidays.
A nationwide law firm, we can schedule an initial consultation with a chemical plant accident lawyer at any one of our 40 offices in the United States. We can also arrange an initial consultation and case evaluation for you online. There is on charge for an initial consultation.
The Doan Law Firm makes an attorney fee pledge to you. We will never charge an attorney fee unless we win your case for you.