Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler March 23, 2017

photo by Tomwang112 (istock by Getty images)

The chairperson and CEO of the U.S. Chemical Safety Board says she is “devastated” that the 2018 budget proposal of President Trump seeks to eliminate the CSB.

“We have a truly unique mission, as we are the only agency that acts as a watchdog for both industry and government agencies,” CSB chair Vanessa L. Allen Sutherland said in a statement.

CSB Works Independently

Similar to the model of the National Transportation Safety Board and Department of Transportation, Congress made the CSB’s investigative function independent of the enforcement, inspection and rulemaking authorities of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The intent was for the CSB to identify chemical hazards which have not been addressed by OSHA and the EPA.

Nearly 20 Years as Industrial Watchdog

Formed in 1998 and also known as the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, the independent, non-regulatory federal agency is responsible for investigating industrial chemical accidents and seeking root causes at fixed industrial facilities.

“Without the CSB, lessons will not be learned from future high-consequence fires and explosions,” said Sutherland, who became CSB chairperson and CEO two years ago.

“Every refinery and chemical plant should be aware of the CSB’s work and support its continued existence,” she said. “The CSB’s learnings from high quality accident investigations will not only keep communities and workers safe but also improve companies’ bottom lines. Simply put, prevention is good business.”

Many Texas Chemical Accidents

Sutherland cited Texas’ 24 chemical accidents investigated by the board, making the nation’s top energy-producing state the one with the highest number of CSB investigations.

“We hope that leaders in government across Texas will support the agency’s ongoing work,” Sutherland said.

BP Texas City Explosion, Fire Costly

She noted that 12 years ago, a costly explosion and fire at the isomerization unit of the BP Texas City Refinery became “one of the deadliest industrial accidents in the history of the United States.” The BP Texas City accident in 2005 killed 15 workers and cost billions of dollars in settlements and fines.

Sutherland also cited the 2010 explosion, fire and oil spill off the Louisiana coast at the Gulf of Mexico’s Deepwater Horizon offshore rig, whose owners had Texas ties. That oil rig accident killed 11 workers, cost billions of dollars in settlement claims and did “untold environmental damage in the Gulf Coast region,“ Sutherland said.

She pointed out that “the cost of just one accident can far exceed the $11 million annual budget of the CSB. Ultimately, we play an invaluable, irreplaceable role in the safety and security of Americans.”

There is “still much to learn,” Sutherland said. But already, its investigations have resulted in “a new standard of care for corporate boards of directors and CEOs throughout the world, calling for the same level of scrutiny for process safety management as financial management.”

Lives, Billions of Dollars Can be Saved

Safety not only saves lives but is “always good for the bottom line,” she said.

“Boards of directors of oil and chemical companies should examine every detail of their process safety programs to prevent future death and destruction,” she said. “The CSB challenges the industry to ask what reports, safety videos and educational tools they are using in their facilities.”

She said the CSB “is dedicated to uncovering the hidden catastrophic risk factors that potentially wreak havoc on business.”

Sutherland noted that a February 2015 explosion at an ExxonMobil plant in Torrance, CA — which the CSB is investigating — contributed to raising gasoline prices in California above $3 per gallon. That cost California motorists at least $2.4 billion more in pump prices in the six months following the explosion, according to the RAND Corp.

“Industrial accidents do not occur in a vacuum,” Sutherland said. “They reverberate throughout industry and affect ordinary Americans. The costs are enormous, from injuries and fatalities to long-term economic consequences.”

Workplace Accident Attorneys Can Help

Besides the CSB, industrial and refinery workers have a friend in Jim Adler & Associates. The veteran Texas law firm can help victims of chemical explosions, refinery fires and other industrial accidents to claim payments for their injury losses.

Contact an experienced workplace accident lawyer with Jim Adler & Associates today and you’ll receive a free legal review of your case — at no obligation to you. Then you can decide if you want to proceed with an industrial accident lawsuit on behalf of you and your family.

Related Blogs and Information

FREE Case Review

Google Reviews

I went to the office and everyone was so considerate and professional , so my first impression was good, I felt like I was in good hands. Then I received a call from Vanessa Garcia, she was on top of EVERYTHING! I never had to call her, she always called me. She even called to see how I was doing , and if I needed help with anything. That is why I have absolutely no worries.read more
13:42 01 Jun 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!read more
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.read more
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.read more
Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.read more
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.read more
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
If you’ve been seriously injured, get The Tough, Smart Lawyer! ®
Get Help Right Now
Principal Office Houston, TX