Process Safety Leadership Group Final Report

UK Petroleum Industry Association
11th December2009


Process Safety Leadership Group – final report on safety and environmental standards for fuel storage sites

Today, the Process Safety Leadership Group(2) publishes its final comprehensive six-part report click here to view.

The report sets out standards of control expected at all establishments storing large volumes of petroleum products capable of giving rise to a large flammable vapour cloud in the event of a significant product escape.

In July 2007, the Buncefield Standards Task Group(3) (BSTG) published a report addressing some of the key requirements of the Major Incident Investigation Board’s(4) (MIIB) recommendations relating to the design and operation of fuel storage sites. The development of the BSTG recommendations was undertaken in parallel with that of the MIIB investigation to provide rapid industry/regulator safety enhancements and ensure a swift response to the MIIB’s progress reports. The final report of the MIIB was published in October 2008.

The PSLG final report builds on the improvements developed by the Buncefield Standards Task Group, providing full and comprehensive guidance in addressing all twenty five recommendations of the MIIB’s report on the design and operation of fuel storage sites.

Tony Traynor, chair of the Process Safety Leadership Group, commented “The PSLG final report is unique in that it is the product of close collaboration between the Industry, Trade Unions and Regulators. It represents a comprehensive guide not only to the MIIB recommendations but also to what is considered best practice in the control of risk in petroleum storage installations. A great deal of its guidance is relevant to the Petrochemical and Chemical industry in general. UKPIA has made a major contribution to the production of this report and to raising the profile of Process Safety in our Industry. I very much thank them for this. I know they will be instrumental in promoting the delivery of these recommendations in their sector”.

The industry has already made significant progress in implementing the guidance provided in the PSLG report. In addition, through making its Process Safety Leadership Commitment a reality, and its active role in establishing the Process Safety Forum(5), UKPIA is also addressing the areas of high reliability organisations, and delivering high performance through culture and leadership, defined within the PSLG’s Principles for Process Safety launched in July 2009.


Nick Vandervell +44 (0)20 7269 7604
Chris Hunt +44 (0)20 7269 7601

Notes to editors:
1. UKPIA represents the oil refining and marketing companies operating in the UK, which also own approximately 2,190 of the UK's 9,264 service stations, and own and operate the nine major crude oil processing refineries in the UK.

2. The Process Safety Leadership Group (PSLG) was established in 2007 to succeed the Buncefield Standards Task Group, formed in 2006 following the Buncefield oil terminal incident. PSLG membership is: HSE, Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, UKPIA, Tank Storage Association, British Pipeline Agency, Chemical Industry Association and Unite the Union. The report issued today covers the key areas of:

  • Actions required by site operators, including timescales
  • Detailed guidance on standards for the transfer and storage of fuel
  • Work in progress on process standards
  • Comparison of BSTG recommendations with MIIB Design & Operations report

3. The joint industry/Competent Authority Buncefield Standards Task Group was established in June 2006 in the aftermath of the explosion and fire at the Hertfordshire Oil Storage Buncefield terminal in December 2005, to make recommendations to enhance safety and environmental standards at major petroleum storage facilities. The Steering Group was chaired by Ken Rivers of Shell UK.

4. The independent MIIB, chaired by Lord Newton of Braintree, was set up to supervise the investigation into the explosions and fires at Buncefield. The investigation is directed by the Health and Safety Commission. The MIIB’s work covers:

  • Design and operation of fuel storage sites (recommendations issued March 2007)
  • Emergency response and preparedness (recommendations issued July 2007)
  • Advice to planning authorities
  • Examination of the roles of the Competent Authorities in regulating activities at Buncefield.

5. The Process Safety Forum was formed in March 2009, and provides a platform whereby initiatives, best practice, incident learnings and process safety strategy can be distilled and shared across all industry sectors, with the aim of preventing major incidents. The Forum’s current members are UKPIA, Tank Storage Association, Chemical Industries Association, Oil and Gas UK, and the Nuclear Industry Association.

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If you need more information,
please contact either:

Nick Vandervell
+44 (0)20 7269 7604

Chris Hunt
+44 (0)20 7269 7601