In many cases, safety training and performance in petrochemical companies has stalled and yet serious accidents and fatality rates rage on. In the more dramatic cases, such as the Texas City BP disaster, organizations that have “exemplary” safety statistics suddenly have a catastrophic or multi-fatality event.
Looking into the root causes of site specific accidents and others, such as the Piper Alpha disaster, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, NASA’s Challenger and Columbia disasters, there are similar factors that lead to these catastrophic events.
When accidents occur, they are most often attributed to human failure. There is a belief that processes or systems are fundamentally safe except for the people using them and if the human element is eliminated, accidents will be eliminated. Unfortunately the human element can never be totally eliminated so the opportunity for error will always be present. CRM assists in mitigating the overall effect of human error in high-risk industries such as Petrochemical.