Accident History Database: An Opportunity
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The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 mandated the development of regulations for the protection of workers, public, and the environment from catastrophic releases and chemical plant accidents. As a result, the US Environmental Protection Agency promulgated the Risk Management Program rule in June 1996. Approximately 66,000 regulated facilities are required to comply with all the requirements by June 1999 and submit a risk management plan to the EPA. Each risk management plan will contain amongst other things, a 5-year accident history for the facility. The 5-year accident history database that will become publicly available sometime in 1999 represents a very large and useful database. This presents a potential opportunity for determining macroscopic as well as microscopic causal factors for chemical plant accidents and then using these determinations for solving the underlying problems. However, there are various issues and potential pitfalls that must be kept in mind. For example, data integrity, taxonomy of the database, and the wide differences in the 66,000 facilities are issues that represent challenges that require some novel approaches. The authors of this paper present their approach to using the 5-year accident history database for attempting to identify the fundamental precursor situations that result in significant chemical plant accidents.
Mannan, Sam; West, Harry (1998). Accident History Database: An Opportunity. Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center; Texas &M University. Libraries. Available electronically from