Letter from the Chair

Joshua Rice

The importance of what the IOSH Hazardous Industries Group advocates regarding process safety has been brought into focus this month, with the fire at the Arkema SA Chemical plant near Huston. This fire resulted in the evacuation of residents within 1.5 miles of the organic peroxides manufacturing facility.

For these residents, this has turned the natural disaster that was Hurricane Harvey into a man-made disaster.

Whilst the 2 meters of water that inundated the facility was unprecedented in living memory, it only represented a 1:500 year flood. A predictable outcome that should, given the cost benefits analysis and effective process safety management, have been recognised and mitigated. Even more so when the flood water would have prevented or hampered evacuation.

As a group we will continue to monitor the event and bring you any relevant learning. However, to do this we continually need to develop and deliver a programme of events and webinars.

So far this year we have prepared and delivered a Webinar on Process Safety which can be found on the HIG microsite, and developed a joint event with Merseyside and North Wales Branches, and Tank Storage Association to publicise new developments in ‘Management of Confined Spaces’ to be held on Wednesday 20 September 2017 in Liverpool.

All these activities take time in the planning and delivery, and whilst IOSH staff provide an immense level of support, the demands on our currently small group within the Executive team is quite high. Therefore we have commenced a restructure of the executive group to better align roles with the IOSH Strategy Work 2022, and launched a new recruitment campaign to fill these new roles. If you would like to volunteer be alert for the information of the HIG microsite.

Please keep an eye on your email inbox, Connect, or the IOSH website for further details of the events which will include a full programme of webinars deconstructing process safety.

If you think that you have other priorities for development and activities that the group should progress please make your voice heard during the next survey or get in touch directly.

Joshua Rice
Chair, Hazardous Industries Group.