29 August 2005 15:31 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) expects BP to respond “in the next couple of weeks” to the CSB’s call for an independent panel to investigate a rash of accidents at North American BP facilities, CSB chairwoman Carolyn Merritt said on Monday.?xml:namespace>
In an interview with ICIS news on the sidelines of the semi-annual American Chemical Society (ACS) national meeting here today, Merritt also said she expects the CSB’s “urgent” request for an independent look at BP’s safety procedures “will have impact throughout the chemical industry.”
When undertaken and completed, she said, the independent study of BP’s safety operations likely will contain lessons for all operators in the chemical and other process industries.
She also suggested that the independent panel review process might be adopted by other producers as a means of obtaining a truly objective look at their companies’ safety culture.
In an address to some of the 12,000 ACS members attending this week’s conference, Merritt also urged the chemicals industry to move quickly to cooperate with Congress and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish industry-wide safety regulations.
She warned that a catastrophic event is almost inevitable - either as a result of terrorist action or simply process failure - and that the industry has most at stake in failing to be proactive for federal regulation in plant site security. She cautioned that if industry waits to act until after a catastrophic event, public outrage will be intense and Congress will react with draconian measures.
The 230th semi-annual ACS national meeting continues through Thursday this week at the ?xml:namespace>
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