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November 17, 2009

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HSE chief to head up new chemical safety centre

HSE chair Judith Hackitt CBE has been appointed chair of the Institution of Chemical Engineers’ new safety centre.

The appointment was officially announced at IChemE’s Hazards XXI conference, which took place in Manchester last week.




A chartered chemical engineer, Hackitt will lead a team of safety experts and provide technical guidance and support across all aspects of the Institution’s safety services and portfolio. 

The safety centre brings together IChemE’s existing publications, training services and specialist subject groups, and also sets safety strategy in line with the Institution’s overall plan.



IChemE CEO, Dr David Brown, described Judith Hackitt as well placed to lead the new group: “Our safety centre incorporates a wide range of services and professional groups. It’s vital that the safety centre steering group is led by somebody with a multi-sector, multi-faceted understanding of safety. Judith’s chemical engineering background and safety expertise makes her the ideal candidate.”

The new chair herself said: “We face a real challenge to ensure that process safety is embedded as a core skill within our profession.” 



More than 400 process-safety experts attended the four-day Hazards conference last week. Speakers included John Bresland, chairman and CEO of the US Chemical Safety Board; Sam Mannan, from the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Centre in Texas; and safety guru Trevor Kletz OBE.

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