EPEX - learn from accidents, Tripod Beta, RCA | about

This website is for participants of EPEX’s learning events but anyone who has an interest in learning from accidents is welcome to use it.

We promote the use of Tripod Beta root cause analysis because we believed that it is the best way to analyse any type of organizational incident.

About Engineering Performance Excellence Limited - EPEX


The word engineering in our name is used in the sense of ‘bringing about’ i.e. bringing about an excellent performance.

Engineering Performance Excellence Limited was started by Ken Maddox in July 1999 to provide training in oil and gas production operations.

This was just eleven years after the Piper Alpha disaster.

The recommendations arising from Lord Cullen’s enquiry have been a major influence in the oil and gas industry since then so it is not surprising that health and safety has been an integral part of our business from day one.

We began to realise that the lessons learnt from bitter experiences in the North Sea applied equally well in other locations and in other industries.

So, over the next few years, the Health, Safety and, Environment side of our business was expanded to the point where we now focus 100% on HSE.

However, we have not forgotten what life is like in operations.

We are fully aware of the pressure to produce.

In the North Sea, a company who fails to produce in an effective and efficient manner will not be in business for long.

Consequently, we take a very pragmatic approach to HSE – being safe is part of being fit for purpose: first time, on time, every time.

Learning about getting it right for safety will help you to get it right for production.

Money spent (wisely) on safety should provide a good rate of return right across your business.

We are accredited by the Stichting Tripod Foundation.

Contact us to find out how lessons learnt in the North Sea oil and gas industry can be of use to you.

About EPEX's managing director - Ken Maddox


Ken Maddox's Industrial experience


Started career on large steam turbines with English Electric and worked on several power stations in the UK and the Middle East.

Joined Shell International Exploration and Production in 1971 and worked for 28 years in many locations around the world.

Spent four years (post Piper Alpha disaster) in Shell’s HSE department in Aberdeen.

Led Shell’s project in overhauling their permit to work system in the North Sea.

Acted as team member in Shell’s turnaround strategy (a one year project to improve Shell’s efficiency in the North Sea)

Trainer at Shell’s international training centre in the Netherlands.

Left Shell in 1999 to start EPEX - own training and Consultancy Company.

Designed and moderated online blended learning courses on safety and organisational culture.


Ken Maddox's Tripod Beta root cause analysis experience


First made use of the Tripod Beta principles in 1989 while working for Shell.

An accredited Tripod Beta practitioner since 2004 - one of the first to pass through the Stichting Tripod Foundation accreditation scheme.

An accredited Tripod Beta trainer since 2005.

An accredited Tripod Beta assessor since 2006

Delivered more than 100 Tripod Beta courses in more than 20 countries.

Acted as Tripod Beta facilitator on many incidents (including fatalities)


Ken Maddox's professional qualifications


Member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology - MIET

Chartered engineer – CEng


Ken Maddox's academic qualifications


DPGS - post grad qualification in Engineering Production from University of Birmingham.

Co-author of SPE paper SPE 23239 “Permit to Work Procedures”.

Co-author of E&P Forum (now IOGP) report 6.29/189 “Guidelines on permit to work systems”.

Ken Maddox - early 70's - Fahud, Oman