What has been learned from these accidents?
1980 Exxon refinery explosion
1998 Longford refinery explosion
2005 BP Texas City refinery explosion
Accident investigators often express the hope after determining the causes of an accident, "that this accident will never happen again". However, there continues to be a disturbing repetition of accidents, sometimes within the same organization. This raises the question of a factor some analysts refer to as a "learning disability" within an organization and how salient this is to your organization.
In his analysis of the Gulf of Mexico Blowout, Andrew Hopkins writes: "Individuals will only learn the lesson of previous incidents if the organization understands the need for individual learning and create the conditions under which such learnings can occur. It is organizations that need to foster the kinds of storytelling from which everyone can learn". Disastrous Decisions page 121.
Learning resources dealing specifically with refinery explosions should not be overlooked in promoting learning from past incidents. Charlie Morecraft, the survivor of the 1980 Exxon gas explosion, is no doubt well known to most in the refinery industry and serves a reminder as to why one should operate safely. His presentation has been witnessed in numerous sites worldwide and his DVD program Remember Charlie is well known.
The Longford refinery explosion in 1998 is the subject of an extremely detailed analysis by Professor Andrew Hopkins in his book Lessons from Longford: The Esso Gas Plant Explosion. The findings of this book lead to the development of the DVD workshop Preventing Disaster: Learning from Longford.
Following the BP Texas City explosion the US Chemical Board called on Professor Hopkins to assist in the Board's investigation of this incident, in which 15 people died and nearly 200 were injured. His book on this incident is titled Failure to Learn: the BP Texas City Refinery Disaster and the DVD on the topic is Mindful Leadership with References to BP Texas City.
Professor Hopkins reminds us in Disastrous Decisions, 'Many large organizations devote the necessary resources to ensuring that the message is transmitted but they do not devote comparable resources to ensuring that it is received', page 115.
Not all organizations have available resources to deliver such learning described above and as such FutureMedia's Training division offers experienced safety professionals accredited to develop and provide to conduct these workshops within your organization. Our safety professionals have recently conducted training in China, India, Canada and USA as well as here in Australia.
One of these courses is, MANAGING HUMAN AND ORGANIZATIONAL FACTORS IN SAFETY - Preventing Disaster Learning from Longford.
These titles are available to license for delivery across your company intranet. A corporate license is also available.
Ebooks may be purchased on an enterprise agreement
Contact us to find out more.