Keywords: accident epidemiology, chemical accidents, occupational illnesses, occupational injuries, process safety management, risk management, safety performance, major accidents, industrial risks
Linking OII and RMP data: does everyday safety prevent catastrophic loss?
We link the risk management programme (RMP) database of accident histories collected by the US Environmental Protection Agency for the period 1996-2000 under section 112(r) of the Clean Air Act Amendments and OSHA reported occupational illnesses and injuries (OII) for the same period. We explore various statistical associations between OIIs and RMP-reported accidents. If we think of OIIs as reflecting everyday safety performance and RMP accidents as reflecting major accidents, then the analysis can be considered a test of whether good everyday safety performance is a foundation for preventing or mitigating relatively rare major accidents. We find only weak evidence that this is the case for the US chemical facilities reporting in the RMP database. The paper concludes with some implications of these findings for industrial risk management and research.