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Happy 90th Birthday, Professor Trevor Kletz

September 2012

If you know the words Process safety, Hazan, Hazop, Quantitative risk assessment and Inherently safer design then you will know about the work of Professor Trevor Kletz who is celebrating his 90th birthday in 2012. Trevor is widely recognised worldwide as an outstanding communicator on safety in the process industries. His books, articles and presentations have taken his fame around the world.

Trevor Kletz, OBE, D.Sc., F.Eng., a process safety consultant, has published more than a hundred papers and eleven books on loss prevention and process safety, including most recently Lessons From Disaster: How Organizations Have No Memory and Accidents Recur and Computer Control and Human Error. His experience includes thirty-eight years with Imperial Chemical Industries ICI) Ltd., where he served as a production manager and safety adviser in the petrochemical division.

On retiring from ICI in 1982 he joined Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK full-time; in 1986 he became a Visiting Fellow and is now a Visiting Professor at Loughborough and has been one at Texas A&M University.

Trevor Kletz has many professional affiliations: Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Institution of Chemical Engineers, the Royal Society of Chemistry and American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the Safety and Reliability Society. Trevor was appointed an OBE in 1997 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.

Trevor's long time research interests and activities cover process safety and loss prevention, including inherently safer design (that is, avoiding hazards instead of controlling them), Hazop and Quantitative risk assessment (QRA) (including public attitudes towards it), human error, accident case histories and investigations, hazards of modifications and hazards of computer control.

An outstanding communicator Trevor Kletz has written eleven books and well over a hundred reviewed papers on loss prevention and process safety and many other articles.

His writings include some eye-catching titles - e.g. Do Engineers Believe in Father Christmas? (Chemical Engineer, Dec 1986, no. 431, 46-47) that recounts seven widely held but incorrect beliefs of the chemical engineering industry, some of which are technical and some connected with management. Subjects covered include: relief valves; heavy fuel oil tanks; confined spaces; fire risks; the Abbeystead explosion; and prevention of accidents at work. Examples of incidents and unsafe practices resulting from 'myths' are given.

Others include The Midas touch ...... What went wrong? ...... Still going wrong ...... Don't just pass the parcel: Accidents that would not have occurred if those involved had talked together and a recent one is An obituary: ICI's contribution to process safety and why it came to an end.

His books include:

Some Recent Papers (since 2000)

There are over 270 records of Trevor Kletz's writings in OSH UPDATE (see below for details) and over 1000 records indexing Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries articles and some thousands of articles on all aspects of loss prevention.