BP seeks independent opinion

BP is to appoint an independent panel to review the safety management systems and corporate safety culture of BP Products North America.


BP is to appoint an independent panel to review the safety management systems and corporate safety culture of BP Products North America, the subsidiary responsible for its US refining operations.



Responding to a recommendation made yesterday by the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB), which is investigating the March 23 explosion at the company’s Texas City refinery, BP Group chief executive John Browne said the panel would be headed by an external chairperson and would include outside safety experts and BP staff representatives.



Speaking yesterday, Browne said: “The Texas City explosion was the worst tragedy in the recent history of BP, and we will do everything possible to ensure nothing like it happens again. Today’s recommendation from the CSB is a welcome development and we take it seriously.



“We will move speedily to appoint an independent panel and offer it every help to do its job. When it reports, we will act with equal speed to deal with its recommendations.”



Browne said the panel’s findings would be made public.



Ross Pillari, president of BP Products North America, said he had discussed the recommendation with the CSB on Monday and pledged that “the membership and mission of the independent panel will be consistent with the recommendation of the CSB.



“We have made use of a number of outside experts in our investigation of the March 23 explosion. This additional step, which will take in all five of BP’s US refineries, is entirely consistent with how we have proceeded to date,” Pillari said. “We see value in this approach, and we look forward to working with the CSB and the panel towards our common goal of making our refineries as safe as they can be.”