Process Safety Incident Investigation

Industrial incidents are extremely disruptive to organizations and individuals. The result of an industrial incident can range from minor injuries, property damage and small chemical spills to fatalities, total loss of property, and major chemical releases.

process safety incident investigation

It is important to thoroughly investigate all industrial incidents to identify the root causes and completely understand the incident – what occurred, how did it occur, why, what failures led to the occurrence, and what are the robust control systems that can be implemented to prevent recurrence. In the aftermath of a process safety incident, it is extremely important to seek the assistance of Subject Matter Experts from professionals with a wide range of knowledge and experience. DEKRA Process Safety Specialists can quickly deploy to begin the investigation before the site is contaminated or compromised in other ways. Early access to witnesses and evidence is critical to prevent distortion of memory and eyewitness accounts as well as to avoid evidence deterioration. We can conduct investigations in parallel with organizations such as OSHA and the Chemical Safety Board, insurance company representatives and local governmental investigators.

Our safety experts examine the root causes of incidents in industrial settings

We incorporate science and technology to validate information and evidence collected from incident sites. We have our own laboratory facilities equipped to conduct testing needed to understand what occurred and the mechanisms that led to energy release. We can conduct large-scale incident recreations to confirm causative theories. Our conclusions are based on our knowledge of chemistry and physics, and Chemical, Mechanical, and Electrical Engineering experts, as well as our extensive experience in industrial processes and incident investigations. Expert witnesses from our industry-leading consulting and laboratory staffs are experienced in providing testimony in depositions and in court settings to aid the progress of litigation and in settling claims.

A thorough approach to Incident Investigation

We combine a pragmatic approach that includes our decades of plant experience with our extensive knowledge of published industry practices. We adhere to relevant guidelines such as the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA 921) “Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations.” Our staff is experienced in many Root Cause Analysis methods including 5 Whys, Fault and Event Tree, fishbone diagrams and Root Cause Analysis. We can also offer advice and services for incident pre-creation or re-creation testing that may be effective in understanding what happened.

DEKRA Process Safety can document the report, causes and findings in a way that satisfies regulatory requirements, such as OSHA’s Process Safety Management regulation and the EPA’s Risk Management Plan rule, as well as local, state and internal requirements.