highest standards of safety at oil/fuel storage sites. We will work with
the industry to deliver this.
In February, HSE issued a safety alert and asked operators to complete a
review of key design and operational aspects of their installations, the
initial results of which should be available next month. The findings from
this review, together with the information from the investigation team's
work on the main causes of the incident, will be considered to determine
any further measures that need to be taken to improve safety even further.
In doing this we will work closely with industry.
The report sets out a number of initial findings from the investigation.
The investigation remains ongoing. However, it indicates that one
contributory factor to the incident appears to have been a failure in the
safety mechanisms designed to prevent this type of incident. Operators of
sites similar to Buncefield have responded positively to the safety alert
and this has led to a higher state of vigilance. HSE inspectors have also
carried out spot check inspections at these sites.
This incident and the emerging findings will have implications for the
advice HSE provides to planning authorities. HSE has started an urgent
review of what this might mean. Ideally, a better understanding of why the
Buncefield explosions were so severe should support any changes to advice.