Fire safety will be discussed at Hazards Australasia 2018

Article by Amanda Doyle

Dame Judith Hackitt and Stan Krpan

FIRE safety will be a key topic at IChemE’s process safety conference Hazards Australasia 2018, with Dame Judith Hackitt and Stan Krpan participating in a Building Fire Safety panel.

Dame Judith and Krpan were appointed to work on the issue of cladding material for residential buildings following the Grenfell tower fire in London, UK, in June 2017. Krpan is CEO of Sustainability Victoria, Australia, and led the Victorian Cladding Taskforce after the Lacrosse fire in Melbourne in 2014. The Grenfell fire highlighted the issue of combustible cladding in the UK and internationally, and resonated with Krpan.

Former IChemE president Dame Judith is leading the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety in the UK. A final report is expected later this year, which will examine the UK’s building and fire safety regulatory system, focussing on high-rise residential buildings.

Dame Judith said: “There are still lessons to be learnt for everyone working in process safety and risk management. The Hazards Australasia 2018 conference and programme is an important reminder of that, and I’m keen to share my own experiences as part of the discussion on fire safety.” 

A separate panel, How can process safety leverage off personal safety?, will be hosted by the OHS Body of Knowledge and the IChemE Safety Centre (ISC), and chaired by Dame Judith. The panel will look at how process safety can use personal safety-based programmes as leverage.

ISC will also showcase its latest interactive process safety case study, Lift Off, which concentrates on ethical decision making, day-to-day process safety challenges, and how to manage industrial pressure to make trade-offs between safety and production.

ISC director Trish Kerin said: “Anyone who works within process safety and risk management for chemical process facilities or hazardous materials can learn from other industries. 

“I’ve been a part of the conference and worked in process safety for many years now and at each of IChemE’s Hazards conferences I learn something new. As professionals we’re constantly developing better practices, but the best way to do this collectively is by sharing at conferences such as these. 

“I’m excited to lead the interactive workshop on Lift Off. It will put delegates in the story as it unfolds, where they individually make decisions based on the information they have and see how the story plays out. Participants will use mobile technology to share their decisions in real-time.”

Furthermore, a plenary session, Key Process Safety Challenges: A View from The US Chemical Safety Board, will be given by Rick Engler, who was nominated by President Barack Obama to the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board in January 2014. Engler has spent over 40 years helping to prevent chemical hazards, with a focus on ensuring that workers and the public have a “right to know” about any chemical dangers, and that government agencies operate transparently.

Hazards Australasia 2018 takes place on 26–27 June at Hyatt Regency, Perth, Australia. For more information, visit

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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