Process Safety

Featured

Process Safety Boot Camp

Instructor-led (classroom) Course
This intensive 4-day course is also offered periodically throughout the year to the broader chemical engineering public. Taught jointly by process...

Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS)

CCPS was established in 1985 to focus on engineering and management practices that can prevent and mitigate catastrophic accidents involving release of hazardous materials. CCPS is supported by sponsors in the chemical and hydrocarbon process industries and active worldwide via conferences, books, databases, education, research, and more.

Guidelines for Vapor Release Mitigation

April, 1988
Guidelines for Vapor Release Mitigation is a survey of current industrial practice for controlling accidental releases of hazardous vapors and preventing their escape from the source area.

Minimize Electrostatic Hazards During Process Operations

June
2013
Safety
Vahid Ebadat
Understand the electrostatic hazards of your process so you can limit the accumulation of charge and prevent static discharge in flammable atmospheres. Select the appropriate combination of electrostatic mitigation measures to ensure safety from electrostatic ignition hazards.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Why Can't I Open that Valve?

June
2013
Process Safety Beacon
In April 2004, an explosion and fire at a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant killed five people and severely injured three others. The explosion and fire destroyed most of the reactor building and an adjacent warehouse. Because smoke from the fire drifted...

Improve Process Safety with Near-Miss Analysis

May
2013
On The Horizon
Ankur Pariyani, Masoud Soroush, Ulku Oktem, Warren Seider
Valuable information about unsafe conditions resides in the large alarm databases of distributed control systems and emergency shutdown systems. This overlooked and underutilized information can be analyzed to identify process near-misses and determine the probability of serious accidents.

Assess Hazards with Process Flow Failure Modes Analysis

March
2013
Safety
Rosalynn MacGregor
Process flow failure modes (PFFM) analysis is an intuitive, process-flow-directed way to identify potentially hazardous scenarios. Learn how to apply this technique to your process hazard reviews.

Beware of the Dangers of Cold Traps

February
2013
Safety
James R. Risko
Cold traps — steam traps that no longer drain condensate — are often ignored in lieu of less-critical leaking traps, until a catastrophic event, such as a plant shutdown or personal injury, occurs. Use historical data to accurately estimate the annual cost of these cold traps to justify their swift repair.

Improve Safety by Improving Human Performance

August
2006
Safety
Donald K. Lorenzo
Follow these guidelines to identify situations in which human errors are likely to occur and to correct potential problems early enough to avoid adverse consequences.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - What is Supporting Your Equipment?

February
2013
Process Safety Beacon
Pipes and equipment that are not properly supported will be subject to stress, vibration, or other problems, This can cause leaks, or even a complete collapse of piping or equipment. But, problems with inadequate support of piping and other...

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Mechanical Integrity of Tubing

May
2012
Process Safety Beacon
Proper installation, maintenance, and inspection of metal tubing is important in preventing fires and toxic material releases in process plants. Do not forget about tubing just because it is usually small. Even a small leak can cause a fire that can...

Product Digest - Safety Equipment

May
2012
Product Digest
Check out warning devices for hazardous areas and high-visibility work vests that reduce static electricity.

Streamline Your Process Hazard Analysis

January
2013
Safety
Judy Perry, Molly Myers
A little creativity during preparation — developing checklists, grouping similar processes, pre-populating worksheets, and considering possible deviations and safeguards before meeting face to face — goes a long way toward improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your PHA efforts.

Recognizing Catastrophic Incident Warning Signs in the Process Industries

November, 2011
This book provides guidance on characterizing, recognizing, and responding to warning signs to help avoid process incidents and injuries before they occur. The guidance can be used by both process safety management (PSM) professionals in evaluating their processes and PSM systems as well as for...

Practical Compliance with the EPA Risk Management Program: A CCPS Concept Book

July, 2009
At last, smaller chemical processing operations have truly easy access to process safety and risk management programs tailored to meet their needs. Written as a "how to" book with checklists, it offers sufficient information for managers of facilities with small chemical operations to implement a...

Reshaping Process Safety Regulations

March
2002
Safety
Walter L. Frank
Changes to OSHA's PSM rule and EPA's RMP programs are underway, due to pressures from various groups and the need for greater security.

Developing Safety Standard for Pilot Plants

October
2006
Safety
Richard P. Palluzi
Safety standards can significantly improve pilot plant safety and increase efficiency. This article addresses many of the issues involved in developing, deploying and using such standards.

Six Steps to Effectively Update and Revalidate PHAs

January
2001
Safety
David K. Whittle, Kevin  Smith
Process hazard analyses must be revamped — or redone from scratch — every five years by law. Following the guidance given here will facilitate this effort.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Good Housekeeping for Safety

December
2012
Process Safety Beacon
A fire started in a fiber trash drum in a process building. The drum contained solder flux and paste, welding debris, general trash, and oil-soaked rags. It had not been emptied for a long time. The ignition source may have been hot welding debris...

OSHA's New Chemical NEP: How to Make the Grade and Earn Extra Credit

October
2012
Safety
Heather Forgione, Henry Ozog
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration evaluates chemical facilities’ process safety management systems through a new national emphasis program. Follow these tips to reduce your risk of receiving citations, streamline the inspection process, and pave the way for future excellence.

Before OSHA Comes Knocking ...

March
2009
Safety
Daniel Steinway
The OSHA Process Safety Management National Emphasis Program will soon apply to the chemical industry, targeting compliance with safety standards associated with chemical hazards.

CEP: Commentary - Working Together to Put CFATS Back on Track

November
2012
Commentary
Bill Allmond
More than five years ago, Congress enacted the most robust and comprehensive chemical security regulatory program to date. The regulation — the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) — protects facilities against attack without impairing...

CEP: Spotlight on Safety - LOPA — A Valuable Risk-Reduction Tool

November
2012
Spotlight on Safety
John F. Murphy, P.E.
Layer of protection analysis (LOPA) is a simplified process risk-assessment technique that uses order-of-magnitude estimates for initiating events, consequence severity, and likelihood of failure of independent protection layers (IPLs) to approximate the risk of a scenario. It is generally used after a process hazard analysis (PHA) team has identified a hazard scenario that requires further analysis to ensure the adequacy of the safeguards that exist or are being proposed.

Design an Inherently Safer Plant

January
2012
Special Section
Kristin D. Norton, P.E., Senem Surmeli, Steven T. Maher, P.E.
Continue to search for ways to build safety into your process — from conceptual through detailed design, to procurement and construction, and even into operation.

Make Your Existing Plant Inherently Safer

January
2012
Special Section
Jack Chosnek, Victor H. Edwards, P.E.
Don't overlook opportunities to build more safety into a process that is already in operation.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Double Block and Bleed

March
2012
Process Safety Beacon
The December 2011 Beacon described an incident where a missing plug on a vent line resulted in a flammable material leak that caught fire, causing a fatality. That incident reminded us of the importance of caps and plugs on process vent lines and...

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Manage Temporary Changes

October
2012
Process Safety Beacon
A filter on the suction of a pump frequently plugged. Because of this, the pressure needed to be monitored, both in the field and at the control panel. To minimize installation time for a pressure transmitter, it was decided to install a tap on the...

Handle Corrosive Acids and Caustics Safely

September
2012
Safety
Richard W. Prugh, P.E., CSP
Understand the corrosivity hazards of acids and caustics, and follow these guidelines to manage those hazards through inherently safer design, engineering and administrative controls, and personal protective equipment.

Navigating NFPA Codes and Standards

May
2012
Safety
Jeremy Lebowitz
Follow the recommendations and how-to Guidance provided by the National Fire Protection Association to safeguard against fires and explosions.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - What Can I do? I’m Just the Operator.

September
2012
Process Safety Beacon
A frequent comment from workers is, “What can I do to improve the safety of our processes? I am just the operator (or technician, mechanic, etc.). I just turn valves, operate the equipment, take samples, turn wrenches, adjust the equipment.” It is...

Guidelines for Auditing Process Safety Management Systems, 2nd Edition

February, 2011
This book discusses the fundamental skills, techniques, and tools of auditing, and the characteristics of a good process safety management system. A variety of approaches are given so the reader can select the best methodology for a given audit. This book updates the original CCPS Auditing...

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Hot Work Hazards

August
2012
Process Safety Beacon
A contract welder and a foreman were repairing an agitator support on top of an atmospheric-pressure storage tank. The tank contained a polyvinyl fluoride slurry with a flammable concentration if vinyl fluoride in the vapor space. An explosion...

Process Safety: How are you Doing?

May
2008
Safety
Scott Berger, Tim Overton and Scott Berger
Use these metrics to benchmark your company's process safety performance, and to set a course toward continual improvement.

Is Your Dust Collection System An Explosion Hazard?

October
2003
Safety
Vahid Ebadat
The prevalence of dust explosions in dust collection units may be due to the fact that the hazards posed by the powders handled are not fully understood or that explosion preventive and protective control measures are insufficient or absent. This...

Managing Dust Explosion Hazards

August
2009
Safety
Vahid Ebadat
Companies that handle powders or other particulate solids need to be aware of the potential for fire and explosions, and follow industry best practices, codes and standards to manage the risk.

Select the Best Model for Two-Phase Relief Sizing

May
2001
Safety
Ron Darby, Paul R. Meiller, & Jarad R. Stockton , Ronald Darby
A variety of methods exist for sizing valves, but not all give the best predictions for certain conditions. RonDarby-PaulR.Meiller-JaradR.Stockton-

Avoid Chemical Reactivity Incidents in Warehouses

February
2008
Safety
J. Wayne Chastain, William W. Doerr, Scott Berger and Peter N. Lodal, Peter Lodal, Scott Berger
Use this approach for the initial evaluation of potential reactivity hazards in storage applications.

Use LOPA to Determine Protective System Requirements

February
2007
Safety
W. Kent Goddard
This article explains how to use layers of protection analysis (LOPA) to evaluate various process safeguards, determine if safety instrumented functions are required, and establish what safety integrity levels are needed to reduce risks to tolerable...

Addressing the Hazards of Data Omission from MSDSs

April
2005
Safety
James C. Mulligan
If certain chemicals lack physical hazards data, suppliers must be proactive to keep workers safe. Here’s how to determine dust flammability and reactivity data for inclusion on MSDSs.

Plant Security Remains a Moving Target

May
2008
News Feature
Cynthia F. Mascone
While chemical companies work toward complying with existing standards, legislators are poised to revise those very rules — with changes ranging from minor tweaking to major overhaul on the table.

Classifying Reactive Chemicals

March
2004
Safety
M. Sam Mannan, Sanjeev R. Saraf, William J. Rogers
This simple classification scheme can be used to characterize the thermal instability risks posed by reactive chemicals in a process.

Create Effective Process Safety Moments

May
2010
Safety
Deborah Luper
Process safety topics are underrepresented in safety communications. Here are ideas on how to convey your organization’s safety priorities in messages tailored to the audience.

Controlling Risk During Major Capital Projects

April
2009
Safety
William Bridges
Think of process safety management (PSM) as a project deliverable, and follow these best practices for scheduling and performing process hazard analyses (PHAs) and completing other PSM requirements during key phases of a major project.

Use Logic Diagrams to Analyze Failure Mechanisms

June
2005
Safety
Thiago Tinoco Pires
Here’s how to construct and apply continuous-value and single-value network diagrams, which can better represent system failure mechanisms than other logic diagrams.
Subscribe to Process Safety