Chemical Safety Board releases final report on deadly Airgas explosion

(IMAGE: WPMI) The incident happened at a plant in Cantonment, Florida in August of 2016.

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) released the results of their investigation into the death of Jesse Folmar, an Airgas employee killed in an explosion. The incident happened at a plant in Cantonment, Florida in August of 2016.

Nitrous oxide tanks at the plant exploded, destroying the facility and killing Folmar. He was the only employee inside the plant at that time.

The CSB says the hazardous substance was heated through a pump while being transferred into a trailer, causing the explosion.

CSB investigators found that a pump used to transfer nitrous oxide into a trailer heated the gas above its safe operating limit and triggered a violent decomposition reaction. The reaction migrated from the pump into the trailer causing the explosion. The explosion scattered large metal fragments for hundreds of feet, damaged the facility, and killed the Airgas operator.

The board also found that while federal regulations require some chemical facilities that manufacture hazardous substances to have safety procedures in place, most of those regulations don't apply to nitrous oxide facilities.

As a result, the board is recommending that the nitrous oxide industry develop a safety management system and post increased safety warnings.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), fined Airgas $12,000 for failing to provide a safe workplace.