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Process safety management from the UK HSE's perspective

Author : Peter Baker - Acting Director, Hazardous Installations Directorate, HSE

29 January 2014

Major incidents such as Buncefield and other serious global major hazard catastrophes in recent years have promoted greater focus on process safety management, leadership, key performance indicators and competence. Is it now the time to ‘join up the dots’ on these various initiatives, take stock and assure ourselves that tangible benefits are being delivered on the ground?

HazardEx 2014 Conference & Exhibition
HazardEx 2014 Conference & Exhibition

More recently there has been the welcome development in the UK of world-class training course in process safety for senior executives, plant managers and frontline staff.

From HSE’s perspective, we still see evidence of process safety management approaches being disjointed with a wide variation in the uptake and application of this initiative. HSE investigations and inspection programmes show no shortage serious failures to adequately manage process safety risks.

The challenge for industry therefore is to move up a gear, consolidate and build on the good work up to this point, set clear expectations for its performance and compliance with these industry initiatives, and to openly share information on their ambitions and achievements. 

Speaker profile

Peter Baker speaking at HazardEx 2014
Peter Baker speaking at HazardEx 2014

Peter is Acting Director of the Health & Safety Executive’s Hazardous Installations Directorate (HID) and member of HSE’s Senior Management Team.  HID regulates health and safety in Great Britain’s non-nuclear major hazard sectors, including oil refining, chemicals and explosives manufacture and storage, and offshore oil and gas extraction. 

Peter leads for HSE in the COMAH Competent Authority’s response to the BRE FoE Review of the Chemical (COMAH) Sector, and chairs the industry-regulator COMAH Strategic Forum established earlier this year.

Peter joined HSE as a health and safety inspector in 1985 and during his long career has held a number of senior, managerial and operational delivery and policy posts. 

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