IChemE analysis reveals 85 fatalities in U.S. chemical and process industries

Nov. 4, 2015

An analysis of media coverage of explosions, fires and serious incidents in the U.S. chemical and process industries in 2014 revealed 228 separate incidents across a broad range of industries.

Process safety incidents in the United States last year caused 85 fatalities and more than 600 serious injuries.

The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) has analyzed media coverage reporting explosions, fires and serious incidents in the U.S. chemical and process industries in 2014. This revealed 228 separate incidents across a broad range of industries including oil and gas exploration and production, mining, refining and chemicals, as well as the food, biotech and wastewater treatment sectors.

Commenting on the findings, IChemE director of policy Andy Furlong said: “Many of these incidents commanded just a few column inches, but there are 75 reports that detail fatalities. Each one is a grim human tragedy that could have been avoided, had the appropriate safety arrangements been in place.”

To help cut the number of process safety incidents, IChemE is bringing its Human Factors in Health & Safety training course to North America for the first time.

Furlong explained: “A lack of effective management of human factors was a contributory factor to many major accidents including Bhopal, Chernobyl and Piper Alpha. These high-profile incidents were widely reported, but sadly they are just the tip of the iceberg. IChemE is working around the world to significantly reduce the risk of future incidents and our human factors training, which has been running in Europe since 2008, is a key part of our work.”

Courses will be held on Nov. 11 in Texas, Nov. 13 in California and Nov. 16 in Pennsylvania. Those interested in taking part in the professional development program can find out more information and register online here.

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