Chemical engineers and process safety experts paid tribute to industry guru Trevor Kletz at IChemE’s (Institution of Chemical Engineers) Hazards conference this week. Kletz, who turned 90 last month, has announced his retirement following a celebrated career as industry safety advisor, lecturer and writer.
IChemE deputy president and Chair of the Health and Safety Executive of Great Britain Judith Hackitt led the tributes to Kletz saying his messages about inherent safety, design and the need to share information are as important today as they were decades ago : “Trevor’s impact on industry was striking. His ability to convey safety information succinctly, and effectively, has been central to his success. ”
Kletz worked for ICI from 1944 to 1982. In 1968 he was appointed as one of the process industry’s first technical safety advisors with a broad remit which included advising designers and operators about how to avoid accidents, specifically with regard to process accidents.
On leaving ICI, Trevor built a second career as a process safety consultant, writer and lecturer. He was elected a Fellow of IChemE in 1978, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1984 and awarded an OBE for services to process safety in 1997.
He has written fourteen books and more than one hundred peer-reviewed papers on process safety.
IChemE chief executive David Brown described the celebration of Trevor’s work as a fitting tribute: “Trevor has unquestionably saved lives. There are people working in process industries today who will go home safely to their families and loved ones, thanks to the thinking and the working practices that he developed.”
The presentation was made at IChemE's Hazards XXIII process safety conference in Southport, UK where 380 chemical engineers and process safety experts gathered for the four-day event.