The powers of the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive ("the HSE") are set out in the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The Commission has the power to direct the HSE or authorise any other person to investigate and make a special report on a matter, or with the consent of the Secretary of State to direct an inquiry to be held into that matter. However, in relation to the matters addressed in this report the Commission decided that it was not necessary to direct the HSE to carry out an investigation and make a special report in terms of the Act, or to direct that an inquiry be held. Instead the Commission and the HSE agreed that the HSE would prepare this non-statutory report and would make it available to the public in accordance with the HSE’s policies. This report explains how and why the incidents occurred and the actions taken by BP and the HSE. The report will help industry to learn lessons from the incidents.
The extent of alignment of the HSE’s findings and recommendations with those of BP’s own investigations and BP Task Force is an important feature of this complex investigation. The HSE acknowledges BP’s openness and cooperation in their response to the incidents and in the preparation of this report.
Note: All references to website addresses were correct on date of publication 18th August 2003. HSE will periodically review website links quoted.
This Major Incident Investigation report has been produced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on behalf of the Competent Authority.
The report contains a description of the following:
The report also summarises the following:
The report contains hyperlinks to enable the reader to move around the report, and internet links to other information available on the HSE website and external websites. This allows the reader to access additional information directly from this report and hence to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the information described should they wish to do so.
Although the report is predominantly concerned with the series of incidents that occurred at the BP Grangemouth Complex in 2000 it is being published at a time when the HSE has embarked on the "Revitalising Health and Safety" strategy. This strategy aims to "prevent major incidents with catastrophic consequences occurring in high-hazard industries". The opportunity is therefore also taken to remind industry of its responsibilities with some messages from the HSE.