The need for implementation of the SIL standards IEC 61508/61511

26 April 2010

US Department of Labors OSHA issues record-breaking fines to BP

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced it is issuing $87,430,000 in proposed penalties to BP Products North America Inc. for the company's failure to correct potential hazards faced by employees. The fine is the largest in OSHA's history. The prior largest total penalty, $21 million, was issued in 2005, also against BP.

A large part of the fine is due to a failure to implement the SIL cOncept according to the iEC 61511 standard (USA: ISA S84.00.01):
Failure to implement International Society of Automation (ISA) S84.00.01 standard for safety instrumented systems

- 242 instances

- Did not comply with Settlement Agreement

- Classified as FTA

- Proposed penalties: $50,820,000

OSHA statest hat the ‘residual risk’ is not sufficiently  controlled. This because the required risk reduction (SIL) was not implemented.  BP uses the LOPA method for SIL Classification.

Reaction of  Chemical Safety Board (CSB) Chairman John Bresland on this case:
†The CSB has found that safety problems continue across the U.S. refinery industry. The CSB has no fewer than seven ongoing investigations of significant refinery accidents at seven different companies throughout the country. Refinery accidents continue to occur with disturbing frequency, including releases of extremely hazardous substance such as hydrofluoric acid (HF)†.

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