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CSB to Hold Public Hearing Surrounding the Deepwater Horizon Explosion

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) will hold a 2-day public hearing July 23 and 24 in Houston to discuss the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and explosion.

In addition to releasing preliminary findings of CSB's investigation of the April 20, 2010, explosion and fire that occurred on BP's Macondo oil rig, which resulted in 11 worker deaths and a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the hearing provides an opportunity to discuss the catastrophe's safety implications for high-hazard industries.

“The CSB’s public hearing will provide a unique opportunity for safety experts from around the world to share information and discuss the most advanced work in the area of safety performance indicators for major accident prevention in high-hazard industries," said CSB Chairperson Rafael Moure-Eraso.

At the hearing, presentations and discussions will focus on measuring process safety performance in high hazard industries, including the development and implementation of leading and lagging indicators, for effective safety management. The agenda will include statements from several panels of experts, including government officials, industry executives, union representatives and non-profit stakeholder groups from the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom and Australia. Participants will address the use of leading and lagging major accident indicators by companies, regulators and the work force to improve safety performance. 

The first day of the hearing will focus on the downstream refining and petrochemical sector. The second day will include a presentation by CSB staff on preliminary findings on the use of safety indicators and major accident prevention from the incident. To date, the CSB has conducted numerous interviews and examined tens of thousands of documents from over 15 companies and parties in order to examine the use of safety indicators.  

The hearing will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 23 and 24 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana Street, Houston. The hearing is free and open to the public. Members of the audience will have an opportunity to comment and to submit questions for the panel participants.

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