The Buncefield Major Incident - 10 Years On

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The Buncefield Major Incident - 11 December 2005 - Ten years on


The COMAH Strategic Forum is a senior-level joint industry and COMAH Competent Authority (CA) regulator group working to improve major accident hazard management and raise standards across industry.  It has produced a short report summarising the improvements which have been made and the work which is ongoing in large bulk petroleum storage sector and other major hazard industries to help ensure that an accident on the scale of the Buncefield explosion should not happen again. The report can be found here.


The lessons from Buncefield have led to significant improvements in the way major hazard sites operate.  Not just in terms of technical controls but also in the management of and leadership in these businesses.  The Process Safety Principles make it clear that positive process safety leadership is at the core of managing a major hazard business, and requires Board level involvement and competence.


Buncefield was also a significant instigator of more collaborative working between industry, trade unions and the regulator, and the report highlights the value of this approach as a means of pooling experience and insights to promote and secure more effective management of major hazard risks.


The CA will continue to work closely with the major hazard industries to influence continuous improvement in its management of risk, whilst maintaining its regulatory oversight of industry's performance.



The COMAH Strategic Forum is the high level chemical industry/regulator forum established following the Better Regulation Executive's Focus on Enforcement programme.  It has senior representation from the COMAH CA and the principal UK trade associations covering COMAH businesses in the on-shore major hazards and chemicals sectors.

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