The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) welcomes the clarification and amplification that the third progress report into the explosion and fire at the Buncefield oil depot provides.HSE will respond to the report and act on its findings to ensure the

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.