Available Now: 2023 Schedule of Hazmat & RCRA Training

CSB Investigating Liquid Nitrogen Release That Killed 6

Posted on 2/8/2021 by Roger Marks

On February 7, US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) announced its third update on the tragic liquid nitrogen release in a Georgia poultry plant that killed six workers and hospitalized twelve others. The latest update from CSB includes additional details about the plant’s processes and the circumstances surrounding the liquid nitrogen release.

The plant at which the incident occurred cooks, processes, and freezes poultry products to be packaged and shipped. As part of their operations, the plant uses liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze product. CSB deployed investigators to the scene on January 28. 

CSB Investigating Liquid Nitrogen Release That Killed 6

At room temperature, liquid nitrogen converts to a colorless, odorless gas that displaces oxygen as it expands. When it becomes a gas, liquid nitrogen can expand nearly 700 times in volume. This means that even a very small amount of the substance can quickly expand and displace a great deal of oxygen.

When oxygen in an enclosed area is displaced, asphyxiation can occur and lead to unconsciousness or death. In its liquid form, LN can freeze skin tissue and cause cold burns, frostbite, and permanent tissue damage.

CSB released a statement to update the public on February 1. The independent agency is focusing its investigation on the cryogenic freezing system and has learned that unscheduled maintenance was being conducted on the production line where the incident occurred.  

The team is working with OSHA and local first responders to determine exactly where the release occurred and will provide updates as more information becomes available. CSB investigations entail interviews with knowledgeable employees, examination of evidence, and cooperation with local emergency responders.

Incident investigations can take years to complete.

What is the CSB?

The CSB's role is to investigate serious chemical accidents, identify their root causes, and recommend measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. While the Board can make recommendations to governing agencies like OSHA and US EPA, it does not have rulemaking, inspection, or enforcement powers.

Created in 1990 as part of a bill to amend the Clean Air Act, the CSB reports directly to Congress and the President of the US.

Tags: chemicals, emergency response

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

Lion's information is very thorough and accurate. Presenter was very good.

Melissa Little

Regulatory Manager

Course instructor was better prepared and presented better than other trainers. Course manual and references were easier to use as well.

Marty Brownfield

Hazardous Waste Professional

The instructor created a great learning environment.

Avinash Thummadi

CAD & Environmental Manager

The instructor was very dedicated to providing a quality experience. She did her best to make sure students were really comprehending the information.

Stephanie Venn

Inventory Control Specialist

The online course was well thought out and organized, with good interaction between the student and the course.

Larry Ybarra

Material Release Agent

I love that the instructor emphasized the thought process behind the regs.

Rebecca Saxena

Corporate Product Stewardship Specialist

I really enjoyed this training. Even after years on both sides of the comprehension coin, I find myself still learning! The quality of the delivery exceeded much of the training I have received in the past.

Neil Ozonur

Safety Officer

I like the consistency of Lion workshops. The materials are well put together and instructors are top notch!

Kevin Pylka

Permitting, Compliance & Environmental Manager

I can take what I learned in this workshop and apply it to everyday work and relate it to my activities.

Shane Hersh

Materials Handler

The exercises in the DOT hazardous materials management course are especially helpful in evaluating your understanding of course information.

Morgan Bliss

Principal Industrial Hygienist

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Use this guide to spot which tanks and substances are regulated under EPA's Underground Storage Tank program, and which are excluded as of October 2018.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.