IChemE Safety Centre Director appointed chair of Major Hazards Advisory Committee

Article by Kerry Hebden

TRISH KERIN, director of the IChemE Safety Centre, has been appointed chair of the Major Hazards Advisory Committee (MHAC) in Victoria, Australia, starting 1 June 2023.  

MHAC works as a consultative body, with representatives from industry, unions, fire services and the community, with an independent chair and secretariat services provided by the Major Hazards Program at WorkSafe Victoria. 

The committee was established following a fatal explosion at the Esso Longford plant that occurred in September 1998. It was set up to ensure that key stakeholders are included in regulatory oversight and to support WorkSafe Victoria. The aim is to improve major hazard management for all Victorians.  

“I still remember the 25 September 1998, when I heard the phone call at my refinery telling us there had been an explosion at Longford,” Kerin said. “It was a turning point in my career that led me to process safety, I work every day to help ensure others don't make or receive those phone calls.” 

Kerin, whose expertise has been recognised with the John A Brodie Medal (2015), the Trevor Kletz Merit Award (2018) and Women in Safety Network’s Inaugural Leader of the Year (2022), has represented industry to many government bodies and has sat on the board of the Australian National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority. Kerin also sat on the MHAC representing the then Plastics and Chemicals Industry Association - now Chemistry Australia - for around seven years in the early to mid-2000s. 

I am excited to take on the important role in helping to influence major hazard management in my home state of Victoria,” Kerin said. “I want to bring an international flavour to the important local context, to ensure that Victoria can learn from the best in the world, as well as contribute to the learning of others. 

Article by Kerry Hebden

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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