The U.S. Chemical Safety Board will hold a public hearing to release preliminary findings into its investigation of the Macondo well blowout, explosion and fire in the Gulf of Mexico. The two-day hearing, planned for July 23-24, in Houston, Texas, will include presentations and discussions on measuring process safety performance in high hazard industries, including the development and implementation of leading and lagging indicators, for effective safety management.

According the Washington, D.C.-based agency, the first day of the hearing will focus on the downstream refining and petrochemical sector. It will include a presentation by CSB staff on the board’s evaluation of the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) Recommended Practice for Process Safety Performance Indicators for the Refining and Petrochemical Industries (ANSI/API RP 754). The creation of API RP 754 was an outcome of a CSB’s recommendation resulting from the agency’s investigation into the BP Texas City refinery fire and explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 180 others. The CSB found that safety performance indicators for major accident prevention were not being used to drive safety improvements. The lessons learned from other high hazard industries with advanced indicator programs will also be discussed during the first day of the hearing.

The second day will include a presentation by CSB staff on preliminary findings on the use of safety indicators and major accident prevention from the Macondo incident. To date, the CSB has conducted numerous interviews and examined tens of thousands of documents from over 15 companies and parties in order to examine the use of safety indicators.