Buncefield 10 years on

11 December 2015

Today marks 10 years since the explosion at the Buncefield oil storage facility.

The incident highlighted the risks faced by workers in high-hazard industries, such as oil storage, every day and demonstrated the impact industrial accidents can have on the wider community.

It also served as a reminder for operators and regulators of high-hazard installations to reinforce some important process safety management principles - ones which prevent the lives of workers and nearby residents being put at risk.

At the core of managing a high-hazard business should be a clear and positive understanding of major accidents, safety critical equipment, auditing, process safety, and safety culture leadership with board-level involvement and competence to ensure that major hazard risks are being properly managed.

Let us not forget that The Maylands Industrial Estate to the west of the Buncefield depot, one of the largest in south-east England, was devastated by the explosion. If the incident had not of occurred on a Sunday morning, when the estate was quiet, we would be remembering far more than a large oil fire.

Ten years on. A report by the COMAH Strategic Forum

Yours faithfully,

Joshua Rice,
Chair, Hazardous Industries Group,
The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH),
Wigston,
Leicestershire