Turner Access Higher Safety Total Access
Total Access Ethentic Chipmunk Data
Chipmunk Data Turner Access Ethentic

BUNCEFIELD EXPLOSION LESSONS FOR CONSTRUCTION

Report reveals fundamental management flaws behind Buncefield disaster

A report, The Buncefield explosion: Why did it happen?, into the explosion and fire at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot in December 2005 has revealed that “fundamental safety management failings were the root cause” of the most costly industrial disaster to occur in Britain.

The report draws on previously unpublished material held back until the criminal prosecution was complete. It highlights a number of process safety management principles which should have been in place, namely:

  • Understanding: of the major accident risks and the safety critical equipment and systems designed to control them;
  • Culture: a culture in place to detect signals of failure in safety critical equipment and to respond to them quickly and effectively;
  • Resources: including time, for process safety should be made available;
  • Auditing: effective auditing systems which test the quality of management systems and ensure that these systems are actually being used on the ground; and
  • Leadership: clear and positive process safety leadership with board-level involvement and competence to ensure that major hazard risks are being properly managed.
Stark reminder of poor attitude consequences

In July 2010, five companies were fined a total of £9.5million for their part in the catastrophe. The economic cost of the incident was estimated as close to £1billion by the Major Incident Investigation Board, which also ranked the economic impact of other global petrochemical incidents. 

Gordon MacDonald, the chairman of the COMAH Competent Authority Strategic Management Group which published the report, said:

“Major industrial incidents are thankfully rare – this report will help make them even less frequent by sharing some key insights and lessons with the wider high hazard industries.

Companies that work in a high hazardous industry need to have strong safety systems in place, underpinned by the right safety culture. Buncefield is a stark reminder of the potential result of a poor attitude towards safety.

The local community was devastated and the environmental impact of the disaster is still evident today. With estimated total costs exceeding £1billion, this remains Britain’s most costly industrial disaster.”

Comment

The Buncefield report comes shortly after HSE has published a report on preventing Catastrophic Events in construction.

The critical ‘management principles’ identified from the Buncefield incident are well worth emphasising on larger construction projects: understand your worst case scenarios; develop a positive culture led by directors with adequate resources backed up by a rigorous system of auditing – job done!   

Latest Construction Health and Safety News

REVERSING EXCAVATOR CRUSHED WORKMAN

Lack of management system to segregate pedestrians and vehicles

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 21st September 2017

CLIENT FINED £2.5 MILLION AFTER CONTRACTOR DEATH

Fatal fall through roof leaves client responsible for massive fine

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 21st September 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 20th SEPT 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 20th September 2017

NEW EDGE PROTECTION INSTALLATION TRAINING

Trade body launches CSCS backed edge protection installer qualification

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 18th September 2017

GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR ACTION ON ILL-HEALTH

Business leaders accept charge of inaction on work-related ill-health

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 18th September 2017

FIRM FAILED TO ENFORCE FORK LIFT SEAT BELT USE

Operator suffered fatal crush injuries after FLT overturned

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 18th September 2017

DIRECTOR AND FOREMAN JAILED OVER FATAL FALL

Failure to act on HSE advice ended in gross negligence manslaughter

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 18th September 2017

PRISON SENTENCE FOR ROOFING CONTRACTOR

Council H&S officers reported dangerous roof work to HSE

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 14th September 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 14th SEPT 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 14th September 2017

LADDER STANDARDS MOVE UP A RUNG OR TWO

Ladder Association guide to fundamental changes in ladder standard

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 12th September 2017

SILICA (RCS) DUST LIMIT – THE ONLY WAY IS DOWN?

US regulator cuts RCS exposure standard to half UK limit

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 12th September 2017

SAFE2TORCH – REDUCING FLAT ROOF FIRE RISK

Industry body seeks to reduce ‘torch’ triggered fires at design stage

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 8th September 2017

FIRM AND DIRECTOR SENTENCED OVER GAS RISK

Poorly planned extension prevented effective gas venting

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th September 2017

£1 MILLION CLIENT FINE FOLLOWS FATAL FALL

Electrician died after fall from step ladder provided by client

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th September 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 6th SEPT 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th September 2017

HAVS HEALTH CHECK PROMPTS HSE PROSECUTION

Assessment of vibration exposure and control measures found wanting

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 7th September 2017

HSE LUNG DISEASE SUMMIT TARGETS SILICA DUST (RCS)

Regulator starts major initiative on lung disease in construction

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 1st September 2017

HSE COST RECOVERY NOW “FULLY INDEPENDENT”

hselogo1New Fee for Intervention disputes procedure now in place

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 1st September 2017

CLIENT FINED AS CDM 2015 PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR

Failure by client to appoint attracts PC duties by default

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 30th August 2017

JOINER PARALYSED AFTER FALL THROUGH JOISTS

Fall prevention and risk minimisation measures not taken

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 30th August 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 30th AUG 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 30th August 2017

COMPLAINT COSTS CONTRACTOR £145,000 IN FINES

HSE prosecute CDM 2015 Principal Contractor over risk without injury

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 29th August 2017

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 23rd AUG 2017

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd August 2017

HSE CONSTRUCTION FATALITY RECORDS: Q1 2017/18

Latest HSE fatality records reveal four (4) deaths in first three months

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd August 2017

HSE ON SILICA DUST (RCS): RISK MANAGEMENT UPDATE

New guidance available on key HSE Construction Sector priority

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 23rd August 2017
Turner Access Chipmunk Data
Total Access Ethentic
Higher Safety Turner Access

One Response to “BUNCEFIELD EXPLOSION LESSONS FOR CONSTRUCTION”

  1. SECURING A POSITIVE ‘H&S CLIMATE’ IN ORGANISATIONS | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] safety culture has frequently been identifed as a significant root cause of major incidents and poor health and safety […]