Monday, March 23, 2015

Need for Stronger Safety Culture, Better Process Safety Management Remains 10 Years After Texas City Explosion

Damaged trailers near blowdown. Photo courtesy CSB.
On March 23, 2005, an explosion at BP's refinery in Texas City, TX, killed 15 workers and injured 180 others. Ten years later, many of the organizational and safety deficiencies that were cited as key contributing factors to that tragedy continue to plague the refining industry, says U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB). 

To mark the anniversary of the tragedy, CSB has released a special safety message calling for greater focus on the gaps in standards and practices that remain today and have contributed to other serious incidents over the last decade, including the Tesora refinery explosion in 2010 and the Chevron refinery fire in 2012.

“The CSB believes that current federal and state regulations do not focus enough on preventative measures or on continuously reducing process risks," CSB Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso says in the message. To encourage changes to existing federal and state regulations nationwide, the Board has included process safety management reform on the CSB’s list of most wanted safety improvements.