NTSB, CSB Establish Protocol for Accident Investigations

Dec. 30, 2002
National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Carol Carmody signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) establishing a protocol for the investigation of accidents involving the release of hazardous materials.

The MOU was developed to highlight the mandate of each agency and to prevent duplicate investigations or jurisdictional disputes. CSB Chair Carolyn Merritt also signed the memorandum.

In the MOU, the NTSB is recognized as the lead investigative agency in transportation-related accidents involving hazardous materials, including accidents that occur during loading or unloading, while the CSB has responsibility for accidents involving the processing, handling or storage of a chemical substance.

"This agreement will ensure the most efficient use of the taxpayers' resources by allowing each agency to concentrate in the areas of its greatest expertise," said Carmody. "In addition, it will provide for shared use of resources and facilities that will benefit both agencies."

The MOU also outlines procedures by which the two agencies will notify each other of accidents and share information developed during investigations.

Both the NTSB and the CSB recognize that because of their common objectives, close communication during investigations is necessary to promote public safety and to ensure efficient use of resources.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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