18 March 2016

Nimrod crash inquiry judge to speak at Hazards 26

Charles Haddon-Cave
The Honourable Mr Justice Haddon-Cave will deliver the Trevor Kletz lecture at Europe’s leading process safety conference, Hazards 26.

Taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland from 24-26 May this year, Hazards is organised by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in association with the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Centre.

Haddon-Cave, a High Court judge who led the RAF Nimrod crash inquiry, will deliver the lecture on the opening day of Hazards 26, entitled: Leadership & Culture, Principles & Professionalism, Simplicity & Safety – Lessons from the Nimrod Review.

The 2006 crash of the RAF’s Nimrod aircraft was the biggest single loss of life to British service personnel in one incident since the Falklands War. The cause was not enemy fire, but leaking fuel being ignited by an exposed hot pipe – a simple technical failure. In the inquiry report Haddon-Cave described the case as; “A story of incompetence, complacency, and cynicism. It was fatally undermined by a general malaise: a widespread assumption that the Nimrod was 'safe anyway' because it had successfully flown for 30 years".

However, the recommendations and observations from Haddon-Cave’s inquiry provide, in his own words, “A once in a generation opportunity to learn invaluable lessons.” These lessons are highly applicable to the process industries, and will be addressed in this year’s Trevor Kletz lecture.

The programme also features four keynote speakers: Ken Rivers, former chief executive of Shell UK and chair of the COMAH Strategic Forum; Cheryl Grounds, vice president of process safety at BP; Dr Paul Logan, head of chemicals, explosives and microbiological hazards division at the UK Health and Safety Executive; and Alan Chesterman, Apache North Sea senior manager.

IChemE’s chief executive David Brown said: “Thanks to pioneers like Trevor Kletz process safety has come a long way, but we must never be complacent. Process safety is everyone’s responsibility, and even in these tough economic times we must make sure it remains high on the process industry agenda.

We’re delighted to welcome The Hon. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave to Edinburgh this year. His experience working on major disaster cases such as the Nimrod inquiry, BP Trent, and others, is directly relevant to the process industries.”

Trevor Kletz was a regular contributor to Hazards from its formation in 1960, and is widely regarded as the founding father of inherent safety. Following his death in 2013, the Trevor Kletz lecture was created to continue his legacy, and celebrate the life of the process safety pioneer.

IChemE’s Safety Centre will also host a free workshop at the event. The session will be led by centre director Trish Kerin, and Dr Sam Mannan, from the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center. The workshop will focus on the current status of process safety worldwide - with the aim to building a roadmap for the future.

Hazards 26 features more than 60 technical presentations from leading industry players including: ABB, Amec Foster Wheeler, The European Process Safety Centre, Exxon Mobil, The UK Environment Agency, Innospec, Jacobs Engineering, National Grid, MMI Engineering, and many others; who will share their knowledge on the functional areas of process safety that are fundamental to managing it effectively.

The event runs from 24-26 May 2016 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The full programme, further information and registration portal is available at: www.icheme.org/hazards 26

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