24 October 2005 19:39 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--The US Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) commended BP on Monday for naming former US Secretary of State James Baker to head a ten-member panel to investigate BP’s North American safety management.?xml:namespace>
The panel was named by BP earlier today in response to the CSB’s unprecedented “urgent safety recommendation” of 15 August that called for an outside, independent panel to examine BP’s operations and safety procedures at its North American refineries.
The CSB acted in the wake of the 23 March explosion at BP’s ?xml:namespace>
CSB chairwoman Carolyn Merritt said of BP’s choice of Baker: “I commend BP for their efforts to cooperate with the Board’s investigation and to constitute this important panel.”
“BP has selected a diverse and distinguished panel and chairman to examine its safety culture and oversight of its North American refineries,” Merritt said, adding: “I anticipate that Secretary Baker, his fellow panellists and the panel staff will conduct a thorough, impartial and effective examination of these issues and report their findings to BP and the public.”
In announcing Baker’s appointment, BP chief executive John Browne said he “deeply appreciates” Baker’s willingness to head the panel. He said the panel “will have BP’s full support and cooperation.”
Baker was quoted as saying: “My goal in chairing the Safety Review Panel is to make sure that it returns with a thorough, independent and credible report.” He also said he will ensure that the review will meet CSB recommendations, “and we will let the chips fall where they may.”
The panel is to complete the review in one year, BP said.
Among other panel members include: chemical engineer Dennis Hendershot who chairs the Inherently Safer Process Subcommittee of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Centre for Process Safety; Nancy Leveson, a professor of engineering systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Isadore Rosenthal, a former CSB board member; and Paul Tebo, a former DuPont Chemical vice president in charge of that company’s safety programme, termed by BP as the “gold standard” in process safety.
BP said a representative of the United Steel Workers labour union soon will be named to the panel as well.
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