Process Management & Control Special Interest Group
A community for process information and control

Some lessons from Buncefield, UK

Date From: 24 February 2011
Date To: 24 February 2011
Location: England
Description: A Prestige Lecture organised by the Teesside Section of the Institute of Measurement and Control, and delivered by Colin Howard.
Event Type: Non IChemE
Venue: Teesside University, Middlesbrough, UK
Organiser: Teesside Section of the Institute of Measurement and Control
Contact Name: Colin Mather
Contact Phone: +44 (0)1845 537735
Contact Email:

The Buncefield Explosion has been the subject of a Major Incident Investigation Board (MIIB); a number of subsequent research studies to better understand what happened; joint work by the regulators and industry as the Process Safety Leadership Group (PSLG) to establish new safety and environmental standards for the fuel storage sites; and civil and criminal court cases.

Although the immediate initiating causes appear simple there was a wide range of contributing factors to these and the ultimate consequences of the explosion. Are the lessons to be learned confined to the storage of fuels or are they of wider interest and application?

This presentation explores some of the lessons and their wider impact for the future.

Colin Howard is a consultant specialising in process safety and the use of instrumentation and control for functional safety. He was an expert witness to the court for instrumentation and control aspects of the criminal case.

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