ABS Consulting Vice President Steve Arendt Recommends a Risk Based Approach for Process Safety Management Excellence to Senate Committee

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Source: ABS Consulting

Houston, TX – During testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, Steve Arendt, Vice President, Organizational Performance and Assurance, ABS Consulting, recommended that any future process safety regulation should incorporate a risk based approach to process safety management (PSM).

In the hearing entitled 'Lessons Learned from the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) Investigations, Including Texas City, Texas,' Arendt emphasized the need for constant vigilance and improvement.

'We all need to get better – both industry and government alike,' says Arendt. 'Industry should adopt improved PSM practices such as those espoused in CCPS's RBPS Guideline, focusing attention on continuous improvement with the goal of zero accidents...any regulatory improvement should be done in a spirit of partnership and participation involving industry and labor...using new performance based or risk based expectations.'

Arendt testified further that, 'We can fix technical issues. We can fix management systems issues. But to generate better, sustainable performance, we must formally address ways to evaluate and improve individual and organizational process safety culture.'

US Chemical Safety Board Chairman Carolyn W. Merritt provided opening testimony on the first of two panels of the hearing, chaired by Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ).

Other witnesses included: Deborah Dietrich, Director of the Office of Emergency Management, Environmental Protection Agency, Kim Nibarger, Health and Safety Specialist, United Steelworkers, Scott Berger, Director, Center for Chemical Process Safety, Timothy R. Gablehouse, President, National Association of SARA Title III Program Officials, and Linda Hunnings, widow of one of the BP Texas City explosion victims.

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