This assignment concerns the Tuncefield Refinery Incident’. Context: Extracts from HSE Press Release (HSE, 2010
The prosecution of Total UK Ltd, British Pipeline Agency Ltd (BPA), Hertfordshire Oil Storage Ltd (HOSL), TAV Engineering Ltd (TAV) and Motherwell Control Systems 2003
Ltd, followed the most complex investigation ever conducted by the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency.
Concluding a four-month trial at St Albans Crown Court, Mr Justice Calvert-Smith said the companies had shown “a slackness, inefficiency and a more or less complacent
attitude to safety.”
The investigation uncovered a series of serious failings that led to thousands of gallons of petrol being released in a large vapour cloud. The resulting explosion
registered at 2.4 on the Richter scale, injured 43 people, destroyed nearby businesses and caused significant environmental damage.
Howard Davidson, Thames Director at the Environment Agency, said: “The Buncefield blast shattered the local community and left a long-term legacy of pollution. It has
already involved a five-year clean-up operation and the Environment Agency will be a presence around the site for many years to come.”
You are required to research into the incident at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot, in Hertfordshire, UK and answer the following questions in your own words:
1. What was the sequence of events leading up to the accident?
2. What were the main causes of the accident?
3. What steps should have been taken to prevent the accident from occurring?
4. Comment on the culture and management at the site, in particular the _
implementation of safety systems and procedures.
5. Discuss the environmental impact and the subsequent prosecutions
Students are expected to research and gather information from several sources to supplement their answers. Additional marks will be given for this.
The assignment should use a basic structure of an introduction, main body and conclusions. Students can use the above headings (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) to create the
subsections in their report.
The report should be in your own words unless you are quoting directly from other authors.
Direct quotes – should be placed in between quotation marks” ” and the text in italics,
Paraphrasing — You are allowed to paraphrase other people’s work, but this must be done after reading, and then compiling what you have absorbed, into your own words.
Such works still need to be referenced. Copying and pasting large sections of work is frowned upon, unless there is some valid reason for so doing. Copying and pasting
large sections of work without referencing may be deemed as an infringement of the University’s plagiarism rules.
1. This is an individual assignment with an expected word count of approximately 2000 – 2500 words.
2.’ All data:s-o-tiCis-Used and cited in the report should be referenced according to Harvard referencing style- – A useful book ‘Cite them rite (Pears and Shields,
2008) can be obtained from the University Library.
3. References from safety textbooks and journal papers are acceptable.
4. References from commercial and other web pages can be used but sparingly.
As an initial starting point students can review the report and video accessed from: WWW. b u ncefieldinvestigatio n goy. ukireparts/volumetiodf
1. This assignment contributes 50% to your final module mark
2. Will test learning outcome a) Knowledge and understanding of management and business practices
3. The report can be typed in Arial or Times New Roman, font size 12 pt.
4. The report must be printed on A4 paper and stapled in the top left-hand corner.
5. A soft copy must be provided in the form of a CD/DVD disk. A folder or binder is not required
6. The report should be professional in its nature and to a high standard and quality
7. Students should always retain a soft copy of the work in the unlikely event their work is lost
Issue date: Hand in date: October 22hd 2014
Jan 7th 2015 – St Peters Gateway
Marks will be awarded as follows:
Quality and relevance of the report 50%
Critical evaluation 30%
Organisation and structure of material 10%
Use of References 10%
• Try not to get overwhelmed by the mass of information available
• Structure your report in sections with contents list, numbered headings, page numbers, reference list etc.
n Make sure you answer all the questions posed and make it clear in your assignment where you are answering these
• Use your own words and support your comments with references, from reports, news articles and journals
n Critical evaluation is not just about reporting what happened it concerns a wider thought process e.g. What went right? What went wrong? What was good /bad,
what were the consequences of the incident, hoitv could ifhaVe
been prevented or mitigated, what were theurdefrying causes e_tc. _
• The reference list you provide should reflect the ‘in text ‘citations that you
have made in your report, it should not a bibliography. You need to demonstrate that you have used the references you have cited.
A 70% and above
• Thorough understanding of the key points and distinguishing features and factors;
• Overview of the field used as a basis for independent judgment;
• Clear structure and good critical analysis
• Including points from below
B — 55-69%
• Accurate description and understanding of the distinguishing factors;
• Reasonable interpretative analysis of the factors;
• Evidence of use of background knowledge and reading;
• Sound structure and good `flow’;
• Presence of reasonable critical evaluation;
• Demonstration of knowledge across substantive areas;
• Including points from below
• Clear understanding of processes and factors;
• Adequate structure and evaluation conclusion;
• Question analysed and material relevant;
• Grasp of basic issues in substantive areas;
n Attempt to relate material to the essay question;
• Some reading in evidence and appropriately incorporated
F — 39% or less
n Long on description with little or no analysis or evaluation
• Theoretical positions (concepts) lacking or confused;
• Little evidence of use of conceptual looks or of reading;
• Irrelevant, unrelated and muddled material.
HSE. 2010. £9.5m bill for firms behind Britain’s most costly industrial disaster
[Online]. Health and Safety Executive. [Accessed 23/09/204].
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