I did not attend the lecture in person however the IChemE have put a video of the presentation online3.
The key points that I took from the presentation were:
The CSB is Independent
- Its only job is to investigate and help avoid future occurrences
- It does not regulate - therefore it is able to criticize both operators and regulatory agencies.
- It may not last - The US government has attempted to remove its funding for two years in a row though congress has reinstated it so far.
- One of the problems with regulations is they can be very restrictive and can't adapt to newer knowledge or technologies quick enough.
- Companies are also at risk of not reviewing things that they have done for a while without any accidents yet.
- As engineers it is imperative we keep a focus on continually educating both ourselves and others within our organisations.
Be careful of mergers
- When companies merge, it is critical to ensure that best practices of both companies are shared and the best of the best is implemented.
- The whole industry could do better in the same way that the airline industry does in terms of sharing knowledge of accidents.
As a result of this I have now added the RSS feed for both the CSB and the HSE4 to my feed reader so I will be kept up to date with future updates from both organisations.
Finally I would like to finish with the Trevor Kletz quote that was repeated several times with good reason:
If you think process safety is expensive, try an accident.
- I found out afterwards that she unexpectedly resigned shortly after giving this presentation ↩
- The lecture starts at about 26 minutes into the video. ↩
- They have put several other keynote presentations online as well and I hope to watch some of them over the next few weeks when I get time. ↩
- The RSS feed on the HSE website is wrong, the correct feed is http://press.hse.gov.uk/feed/ ↩