Magazine article Occupational Hazards

CSB's Holmstrom: 'All Is Not Well at BP'

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

CSB's Holmstrom: 'All Is Not Well at BP'

Article excerpt

Taking issue with the "widespread misperception" that employers can improve safety simply by changing the unsafe behaviors of plant-level workers, U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) lead investigator Don Holmstrom said the March 23 BP refinery accident in Texas City, Texas, was the result of decisions made higher up the corporate ladder.

"The mistakes that were made in Texas City have their roots in decisions made by managers at the facility and the corporate level, sometimes years earlier," Holmstrom said.

Holmstrom, speaking Nov. 10 to members of an independent safety panel that BP commissioned to examine safety management in its five North American refineries, said many of CSB's findings from its investigation of the March 23 Texas City accident "are indicative of management culture issues at BP."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"The findings also raised serious concerns about the effectiveness of mechanical integrity programs, hazard analyses, management-of-change programs and incident investigation programs," Holmstrom said. …

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