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Baseefa Ltd

Hazardex 2018 Conference - 5. Lessons learned from major accidents in different industrial sectors

30 January 2018

Zsuzsanna Gyenes – Deputy Director, IChemE Safety Centre (ISC). 
Weds 14.00 – 14.40: Main conference room

Chemical companies store and process a large amount of dangerous substances in complex plants. For this reason, consistent care in controlling the processes and their related equipment is necessary at these sites to avoid a loss of containment that could lead to a serious accident. In reality, hundreds of chemical accidents are reported in the media around the world in an average year.

Many of them have severe consequences, such as production disruption resulting in significant economic loss, temporary loss of public services, property damage, environmental damage and in the worst circumstances, injury and death. In many cases, lack of knowledge or procedures in place or lack of competence, even complacency led to the incident. 

This paper studies incidents chosen from different industrial sectors and different topics, including fertilisers, contract worker related cases, ageing of establishments or emergency response. These cases seem diverse but in reality, the lessons depicted show similarity and these findings demonstrate that learning from other industries or topics is indeed possible. Furthermore, the study highlights events where the lessons were not learnt, even though similar cases had occurred already in the past.

The analysis of the cases selected covers lessons learned from these incidents and forms a summary of how to get industries to pay more attention to factors they had not previously considered might contribute to a major event. Furthermore, looking at past accidents and learning from cases that have occurred in other industrial sectors can help us learn important lessons. Finally, the study emphasises the importance of an effective safety management system in place regardless of the type of industrial activity.


After graduating with a Master of Science in Biochemical Engineering from the Technical University of Budapest, Dr. Zsuzsanna Gyenes worked in disaster management for the Hungarian Government.

During this time she obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Public Administration. She then moved into a role as a Seveso Site Inspector for Hungary, at this time she also obtained her PhD cum laude on the development of procedures and tools for the improvement of industrial safety against external effects from the National Defence PhD Institution in Military Technology in Hungary.

Following her time as a Seveso Inspector, she was the Head of Section for Nuclear Safety in the National Directorate General for Disaster Management in Budapest. Her most recent role was as a Scientific Technical Office for the European Commission Joint Research Centre, where she worked to assist member states on learning from incidents and Seveso implementation, including land use planning policy.

She commenced as the Deputy to the Director if the IChemE Safety Centre in September 2017.


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