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I read with interest last week the US Chemical Safety and Hazardous investigation board's report on the disaster at Cabin Creek where 5 men lost their lives in a fire caused by MEK and epoxy flashing. I've posted a copy of that report on our EonCoat blog along with my own comments.
This was a tragic event. How convenient it is to place nearly all blame on the entity with the least resources, the contractor. I'm not saying the guys on the job didn't screw up. I am saying that blaming the contractor is not the way to solve the root cause of the problem and save lives. Check out my comments and tell me I'm wrong!
 

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Whew...

If I were the contractor, I'd have never used that stuff. But we don't know what was said in regards to who or why.

The layout of the place was bad for that stuff, man.

It was a disaster in the making if you ask me...sad.

I agree, in this year 2010, there is no reason why we can't be using safe products...
 

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I agree that the contractor should not carry all the blame of that tragedy.

I read an article about that a few weeks ago, and scanned the pdf you linked and my impression was that the contractor was not qualified and did not have the proper safety plans in place.

Saying it is difficult for contractors to properly train and monitor employees is no excuse. They should not have been there in the first place.

"Prior to this incident, when RPI was still Robison-Prezioso, federal and state OSHA had inspected the company 46 times since 1972. Of these inspections, 31 had been initiated due to a complaint, referral, or accident; 90 violations were issued with fines totaling $135,569. Some violations were issued after accidents that had resulted in serious injuries and/or fatalities to employees (Appendix B)."

"Due to key safety criteria deficits in RPI’s safety record, Xcel rated the company as “zero” in that category, which should have meant its automatic disqualification from the bidding process; however. RPI’s bid was not rejected, and it was eventually awarded the contract despite its poor safety record"
 
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