This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Hazardex 2019 Conference Presentations - 2019: The Year of Leadership in Managing Major Hazard Risks

Author : Ken Rivers - President, IChemE, and CoMAH Strategic Forum Chair

21 December 2018

The hazards that can destroy your business should be top of mind right through any organisation and yet they are not. The lack of danger signals means that organisations can get lulled into a false sense of security or simply just not recognise the risks / potential for catastrophe that exits in their activities. 

While Great Britain has one of the best records in the world for managing major accident hazards, these incidents are still happening. These risks can be managed and the tool kit is there for businesses to use. Indeed, the CoMAH Strategic Forum , which I chair, has highlighted that making “good practices” into “common practices” is the main challenge to improving standards and raising performance in the UK.

Individual companies do not have a monopoly on good practices and so being open to learning from others is a critical success criteria. Indeed, the lessons from Grenfell have highlighted just how important being open to cross-sector learning is. So clearly identifying what is good practice and making it available is as important as improving the consistency of application of these practices across businesses.

However, the most critical activity is reaching out to the currently unengaged and, as you might expect, leadership is a vital element in delivering this change. We now have a very clear picture of what good leadership looks like.

Getting leaders interested, curious and committed is critical and  2019 will be the Year of Leadership in Managing Major Hazard Risks where there will be a concerted push from both the Competent Authorities and Industry. What it will mean for you and your company is the focus of this presentation.



Ken Rivers is President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He also chairs the UK’s Control of Major Hazards (COMAH) Strategic Forum, which is the joint industry/regulator group tasked with raising standards and improving the effectiveness of major hazard legislation.

Ken’s  extensive international career included being CEO of  Refining NZ  and responsibility for Shell’s UK refining and petrochemical operations. He is a past President of UK Petroleum Industry Association and chaired  the joint industry/regulator task force in the wake of the Buncefield terminal explosion. He was one of the founding members of the New Zealand Business Leaders’ Heath and Safety Forum. 

More recently, he  chaired the Midstream Oil Sector Government and Industry Task Force, which considered  ways of improving the resilience and viability of the UK refining and fuel import sectors following the recent government review.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page