October, 2013

201322OctAll DayProcess Safety – focusing on what really matters – leadership!Dame Judith Hackitt | MKOPSCLessons:Commitment & Culture,Workforce InvolvementLanguage:EN Origin: HSE Document Type:Article



Good morning and thank you for the invitation to give this keynote opening address, at the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center symposium. It is a great honour for me to be here and to be asked to deliver the Frank Lees Memorial lecture at your 16th symposium. I speak today as the Chair of Great Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and President of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE). Both roles enable me to speak with passion about a subject I really care about – Process Safety. I never had the privilege of meeting Frank Lees although we were both alumni of Imperial College in London. Nonetheless, his outstanding work throughout his career on Process safety along with that of Trevor Kletz has had a major impact on my thinking – and indeed on my actions – particularly during the 20+ years that I worked directly in the major hazards industries. I feel particularly privileged today to be among so many people who share a common interest in the vitally important subject of Process Safety. But I believe that it is part of my role here today to provoke you into thinking afresh about the subject.

• We need leaders who know what they don’t know and are willing to learn.

• We need leaders who can live with a chronic sense of unease and who can spot the warning signs of complacency creeping in.

• We need leaders to give the same priority to process safety wherever they are in the world because the threat of process related incidents occurring is the same worldwide.

• We need leaders who are prepared to sit down with their peers and share the hard lessons they have learned and own up to mistakes they would not want to see others make again.

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HSEUK Health & Safety Executive