OJAI, Calif., Feb. 22, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Organizational failures pave the way for the technical failures that lead to process safety incidents, such as 2010's Deepwater Horizon and San Bruno gas pipeline, say experts at global safety firm BST (www.bstsolutions.com). The firm has released a white paper describing what it calls a comprehensive process incident prevention approach. The paper also provides recommendations on how to integrate culture and leadership with catastrophic event prevention.

BST leaders say the paper seeks to answer the question of why serious events continue to occur despite sophisticated technical and management systems in industry. "It turns out that process safety systems are critical to preventing catastrophic events, but they aren't enough," says BST president Scott Stricoff. "Good systems fail when culture and leadership don't support them."

Preventing incidents in man-made systems (in some industries known as process safety management) is a distinct discipline from employee safety. Employee safety focuses on preventing injuries and fatalities on the job, while the purpose of catastrophic event prevention is to stop systems failures that can result in fires, explosions, uncontrolled releases of hazardous materials, mine collapses, or train collisions. The two categories overlap when a serious process failure injures or kills employees. Failure to distinguish between employee safety and process safety, specifically confusing good performance in one for good performance in the other, has been cited as a contributing factor in some recent catastrophic events.

"Preventing the kind of catastrophic events we've seen in recent years requires a willingness to address the organizational issues in addition to the technical issues," says Stricoff.

The white paper outlining BST's process incident prevention approach is available at http://www.bstsolutions.com/en/processincident

Media Contact

Rebecca Nigel
805.665.6145
rebecca.nigel@bstsolutions.com

About BST

BST is a global safety consulting and solutions firm that helps organizations improve safety and organizational functioning. With over 2,600 client sites in 70 countries, BST's work covers a range of industries, including mining, petroleum, chemicals, metals, paper, food, utilities, railroads, healthcare, and government. Corporate headquarters are based in the United States, with regional offices in Brazil, Belgium, South Africa, Australia, and Singapore. http://www.bstsolutions.com

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The following files are available for download:

wkr0006.pdf PDF
[Image] BST President Scott Stricoff
[Image] Catastrophic event prevention is essential in many industries