The long-awaited report by the US Chemical Safety Board concluded that “organizational and safety deficiencies at all levels of the BP Corporation” caused the fire at the company’s Texas refinery in 2005.
The 335-page report calls on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to increase inspection and enforcement at U.S. oil refineries and chemical plants, and to require these corporations to evaluate the safety impact of mergers, reorganizations, downsizing, and budget cuts.
CSB Chairman Carolyn W. Merritt said, “It is my sincere hope and belief that our report and the recent Baker report will establish a new standard of care for corporate boards of directors and CEO’s throughout the world”.
She continued: “Process safety programs to protect the lives of workers and the public deserve the same level of attention, investment, and scrutiny as companies now dedicate to maintaining their financial controls. The boards of directors of oil and chemical companies should examine every detail of their process safety programs to ensure that no other terrible tragedy like the one at BP occurs.”
The CSB report calls on BP to appoint an additional member of the board of directors with expertise in process safety, and calls for BP senior executives to establish an improved incident reporting program and use new indicators to measure safety performance.