RiskManagement: BP Explosion in Texas

In2005, BP refinery plant experienced a huge explosion that causeddeaths, injuries, and severe damages in the company. The unexpectedoccurrence however, led to establishment of new measures to cubrecurrence of any similar incident. This essay is a press release ofthe manager of the BP refinery plant explaining his strategy toprevent the company from any other explosion. Additionally, the essayhas an internal memo explaining the explosion and the new strategicrisk management plan of the manager.


Afterthe examination of the huge impact that the BP explosion in Texascaused to the company, workers and the entire city, the company hastaken new initiatives and measure to ensure that a similar accidentdoes not happen again. As the plant manager, I have worked with otherstakeholders to establish effective measures for maintaining maximumsafety in the organization as well as putting up new equipments andhiring competent contractors to maximize efficiency in the operationsof the plant.

Aftervarious analysis were done on the BP refinery explosion, I havededicates various plans to help reduce the occurrence of the sameaccidents. First, is to move from the use of stack to using of safetylight to check the evaporating gases in the blow-down drums. The bestthing about the use of safety lights is that it detects the escapinggasoline and notify the technicians early enough to take necessaryactions.

Thesecond move is to place the trailers or any other machine that mayignite fire away from the refining area. According to CSB(2007),after the valve failed to hold the high pressure of gasoline, theybroke leading to a geyser of vapor and liquid fuel through the stackon the blow-down drum. However, the report further shows that theheat from the engine of the nearby trailer ignited the fire.Therefore, as the manager, the second move will be to ensure thatall trailers and other heat generating machines or equipments arekept away from the refining area.

Theinvestigation by CSB(2007)further proved that the isomerization unit was restarted withoutproper precautions thus leading to the failure of the valves. Thisbasically means the company did not have effective risk managementstrategies. Therefore, as the plant manager, I will ensure maximumsafety by putting up safety management team that will be tasked withfrequently checking the systems. On the other hand, the company willhire addition internal maintenance experts to work with otheremployees in monitoring the general condition of the refining system.


TheTexas BP oil refinery plant explosion was marked as the deadliestplant explosion in the US in the last 10 years. The investigationreport showed that 15 people lost their lives and over 150 wereseriously injured. According to the investigation report, the majorcause of the fire explosion in the company was due to the excessiveflow of gasoline into the ‘blow-down drum’ thus shooting into theopen air through the stack. The excessive inflow into the drum wascaused by the failure of the relief valves.

However,there was some laxity of some employees in the refinery plant, whichis clearly depicted by the fact that an employee restarted theisomerization unit without checking its efficiency despite the factthat the unit had not been used for several days. Generally, thecause of the fire can be attributed to some technical problems aswell as to the incompetence of some employees. Since it is now a timeto move on a company, as the manager, I have put in place newmeasures that will help reduce the chances of recurrence of suchdeadly incident by fully complying with the safety rules in theState.

Althoughthe company will not victimize any employee, we have made some newrules and guidelines and established new programs to help preventsimilar incidents in the future. The first strategy is to use newequipments for detecting faults in the system such as the safetylights and alarm systems to send signals incase of any leakage. Thenext move is to have the entire system checked and maintainedfrequently so as to detect any lurking danger. The last step ishiring of competent employees to work in the maintenance departmentalong with other outsourced maintenance contractors (Dastous2008).


BPrefinery explosion in Texas marked the deadliest oil refinery fireexplosion in the US. The fire led to the loss of 15 lives and over150 injuries on the employees of the plant. After variousinvestigations, it showed that there was some laxity on safetymeasures that were taken by the company. New ideas came up on how toeffectively counter and prevent any recurrence of such event.However, in order to effectively prevent the company, newestablishments were enacted including replacing new equipments andensuring frequent checkups on the system.


CSB.2007. InvestigationReport Refienery Explosion and Fire.Retrieved July 7, 2016, fromhttp://www.csb.gov/assets/1/19/csbfinalreportbp.pdf

Dastous,P. A., Nikiema, J., Maréchal, D., Racine, L., &amp Lacoursière, J.P. (2008). Risk management: All stakeholders must do their part.Journalof loss prevention in the process industries,21(4),367-373.