Principles of process safety leadership

The Principles of Process Safety Leadership were developed by the onshore focused Process Safety Leadership Group (PSLG) which came together following the Buncefield Terminal incident in 2005. The group formation was designed to meet the need for an effective framework for interaction between the onshore major hazard industries, trade unions and the Competent Authority.

High standards of leadership were deemed to be essential to ensure effective control of major hazard risks across the onshore industries.

For the UKCS offshore oil and gas industry, the Piper Alpha disaster changed the way activities were regulated and operations conducted. However, it did not give rise to the tripartite top-level commitment as was seen following the Buncefield incident.

On the 5 November, 2019 the UK oil and gas industry followed suit with an amended agreement endorsed by OGUK, Step Change and the IADC on behalf of the sector and by the Competent Authority with Martin Temple CBE (Chair – HSE) and Wendy Kennedy OBE (Chief Executive – OPRED) signing on its behalf.

The agreement sets out eight principles for senior industry figures to follow, including requiring senior leadership team involvement and competence in safety management, putting process safety leadership at the core of a business to ensure risks are properly managed, and engaging and involving the workforce in managing safety.

The signing of the principles represents a significant milestone for our industry, providing a strong reference point for leaders as they drive continuous improvement in all areas of process safety. It can be used for example in leadership meetings, workforce engagement sessions, as a means to judge performance or as a sense check when establishing root causes of an incident.

Download the joint agreement on process safety leadership principles signed by industry leaders.

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