The investigations into the circumstances surrounding the three incidents at the Complex have resulted in a number of issues being identified from which BP and the HSE consider lessons can be learned. These lessons are of relevance to all companies who are regulated under the Control of Major Accident Hazards (COMAH) Regulations 1999 for major hazard installations and also to a wider audience throughout industry.
These lessons should be addressed by other operators, and management systems put in place to prevent any major accidents (including a repetition of any of the three incidents reported here) from occurring.
The HSE consider that these lessons will assist the major hazards industry in reducing the probability of major accident incidents occurring and in reducing the severity of any events which do subsequently occur. This should help in achieving a significant reduction in the number of reportable incidents. The "Revitalising Health and Safety" strategy document from the HSE sets a goal to "prevent major incidents with catastrophic consequences occurring in high-hazard industries" and sets a target of "a 20% reduction in RIDDOR dangerous occurrences and COMAH Regulation 21 major accidents (accidents of sufficient seriousness to require notification to the European Commission)" by 2004. These lessons, if learned, should help to achieve this target which has been set as an industry objective and signed up to by many of the leading companies in the major hazard industries.
A summary of the key lessons for industry from the series of incidents at Grangemouth is given below.
In addition the Competent Authority considers that it is important to re-iterate some important messages for industry at this stage of the implementation of the "Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy".