March 2008

Special Report: Instruments and Networks

Satisfying safety standard competency requirements

Deploying a robust, IEC conformant safety instrumented system requires uncompromised competency in every step of the process

Goble, W., exida LLC

On March 23, 2005, the BP Texas City refinery experienced one of the most serious US workplace disasters in the past two decades, resulting in 15 deaths and more than 170 injuries. Following the disaster, investigations were conducted and reported by the US Chemical Investigation Board, Fatal Accident Investigation Report (Mogford Report), and the BP US Refineries Independent Safety Review Panel (Baker Panel Report). Competency, or the lack of it, is a recurring theme in each of these reports and it was repeatedly listed as a major contributing factor leading up to the BP Texas City disaster: "BP has not effectively defined the level of process safety knowledge or competency required

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