Process Safety


Process Safety Boot Camp

Public (classroom) Course
Offered in North America, this intensive and highly interactive 4-day course trains chemical engineers in the fundamentals of Process Safety. Taught...

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.


May 6, 2013
CCPS and DECHEMA are co-sponsoring this conference in the field of process safety.

Chinese Hackers Target U.S. Oil and Gas

February 22, 2013
A group of China’s increasingly sophisticated cybersoldiers, known as the “Comment Crew," appear to be trying to penetrate America's critical infrastructure, including systems...

AIChE Journal Articles Make Wiley's Top 20 List

March 25, 2015
Articles from the AIChE Journal, Biotechnology Progress, Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy, and Process Safety Progress are at the top of the list of "hottest...

Playing with Fire in Outer Space

December 2, 2011
Scientists aboard the International Space Station are playing with fire, literally. As part of the Flame Extinguishment Experiment (FLEX), scientists are studying how flames react...

2nd CCPS China Conference on Process Safety

August 15, 2014
The 2nd CCPS China Conference on Process Safety will take place on August 28-29, 2014, with a one day pre-conference process safety boot camp offered on August 27, 2014.

Runaway: Explosion at T2 Laboratories [Video]

April 8, 2010
On December 19, 2007, a runaway chemical reaction during the production of a gasoline additive destroyed T2 Laboratories in Jacksonville, Florida , killing four people and...

Deb Grubbe on Big Data in Chemical Engineering

May 14, 2015
Chemical engineer Deb Grubbe had an opportunity to sit down with CEP senior editor Michelle Bryner to talk about about how big data could be used to improve safety in the chemical...

The Principle of Fail-Safe

February 23, 2011
Recently, I had the occasion to ponder the principle of fail-safe while whirling around at breakneck speeds 20 feet off the ground. Since nothing works perfectly forever—including...

Interview with Luke Kissam of Albemarle

April 2, 2014
10th Global Congress on Process Safety Chair Jatin Shah sat down with Tuesday's lunch speaker Luke Kissam of Albemarle to chat about his talk entitled "Creating a Safety Culture."

April 2015 CEP Preview

April 3, 2015
Career Catalyst Humanitarian Chemical Engineering A broader view of ethics and professional responsibility considers the engineer’s impact on humanity. Read this article now...

4th AIChE Regional Process Technology Conference

June 18, 2012
The South Texas Section of the AIChE, in partnership with AIChE HQ, is hosting its 4th Regional Process Technology Conference at the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference...

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Mechanical Integrity

Process Safety Beacon
An effective MOC system is vital to the success of any piping integrity management program. Your plant inspection group can anticipate changes in corrosion or other deterioration and change inspection schedules and procedures appropriately. Make sure your inspection group is involved in the approval process for changes that may affect the integrity of piping or other equipment.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Safe Work Practices

Process Safety Beacon
The term safe work practices refers to the processes we use to authorize nonroutine work activities, and to control the hazards and manage the risks associated with these activities. Safe work practices often authorize work through permits, which frequently include checklists of potential hazards associated with the work. A nonroutine activity has nothing to do with how often the activity is done. Instead, it refers to activities that are not part of the normal process for converting raw materials to finished product, and not covered by the plant’s standard operating procedures for normal operations.

CEP: Material Matters - Tool Helps Predict Reactivity Hazards

Material Matters
Kirk Richardson
To provide guidance and disseminate reactivity data, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in conjunction with partnering companies and technical associations, developed the Chemical Reactivity Worksheet (CRW). The free software ( ) allows CPI professionals to review the reactivity hazards of thousands of individual chemicals, as well as predict the consequence of mixing chemical substances. Since its release in March 2013, the CRW Version 3 (CRW3) has been downloaded approximately 80,000 times.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Who Are All These People?

Process Safety Beacon
In many serious events, there may have been more people in the area than were needed to do or monitor the job. Too many people in the area, whether the control room or the plant, can be a distraction, causing bad decisions that could lead to serious...

Guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety

March, 2007
Guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety provides guidelines for industries that manufacture, consume, or handle chemicals, by focusing on new ways to design, correct, or improve process safety management practices.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - What Is the Process Risk?

Process Safety Beacon
The worst process incident that can happen in your plant may not be the same as the highest process risk. Risk is a combination of how likely an incident is and how bad the consequences could be. The process incident in your plant with the worst consequences may be very unlikely to occur. Other less-severe incidents may be more likely, making the risk of these events higher than the incident with the worst consequences. You should be aware of all process risks in your plant, and your role in managing all of them.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Ignition Sources

Process Safety Beacon
The best way to prevent fires and flammable vapor explosions, either inside or outside process piping and equipment, is to avoid creating a flammable mixture. However, we must also recognize that our equipment and operating procedures can fail and a...

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Persistence – Good or Bad?

Process Safety Beacon
Some process safety incidents have occurred because operating personnel failed to recognize that a process was not responding as expected. They attempted to keep a process in operation by deviating from standard procedures, or put themselves in danger by attempting to correct an out-of-control process condition rather than evacuating.

(Chinese) Guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety

August, 2013

(Chinese) Guidelines for the Management of Change for Process Safety

January, 2013

(Chinese) Layer of Protection Analysis: Simplified Process Risk Assessment

May, 2010

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Major Spills and Environmental Incidents

Process Safety Beacon
We may think of process safety incidents as fires, explosions, and immediate injuries from exposure to toxic, corrosive, or otherwise hazardous materials. However, major spills of hazardous materials, especially into rivers or other bodies of water, are also process safety incidents. They have the potential to impact large numbers of people, including people far away from your plant.

CEP: Spotlight on Safety - Normalization of Deviation — Identify It, Correct It, Prevent It

Spotlight on Safety
Louisa Nara
Whether we are talking about occupational safety or process safety, normalizing a deviation can result in unsafe practices, conditions, and operations. Getting comfortable with and accepting these deviations can cause a shift in our perception of what is safe. Why does this matter? Moving the target for safe operating limits and tolerating the higher risk s associated with doing so can ultimately lead to a catastrophic incident.

Inherently Safer Chemical Processes: A Life Cycle Approach, 2nd Edition

December, 2008
Inherently Safer Chemical Processes presents a holistic approach to making the development, manufacture, and use of chemicals safer. It discusses strategies for substituting more benign chemicals at the development stage, minimizing risk in the transportation of chemicals, using safer processing...

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Are We Reliving Past Incidents?

Process Safety Beacon
The short answer to this questions is YES. In 1993, Trevor Kletz, who passed away on Oct. 31, 2013, at the age of 91, wrote a book titled Lessons from Disaster: How Organizations Have No Memory and Accidents Recur. Twenty years later, we still fail to learn from accidents, and we repeat them.

Protect Your Process with the Proper Flame Arresters

Michael Davies, Thomas Heidermann
A flame arrester may be installed to keep an external flame out of a tank or vessel or to ensure that a flame burning within a pipeline does not propagate to other equipment. Use the information presented here to determine what type of device is appropriate for your application.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Hazards of Strong Oxidizers

Process Safety Beacon
A worker was asked to move two open-top 5-gal pails containing aqueous sodium permanganate solution from one location to another. When he picked up the pails, the contents of one of them erupted, spraying him with the solution. Sodium permanganate is a strong oxidizer, and the splashed material set the worker’s clothing on fire. His injuries required hospital treatment.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Holiday Operations

Process Safety Beacon
Many plants shut down or reduce operations during a holiday period. Equipment may be in a non-standard condition while processes are on hold or shut down. Even though the plant is shut down, it is likely that hazardous materials are still present in storage tanks and process vessels. Equipment that is shut down may be opened for inspection or maintenance. Some plants continue to operate during a holiday but with reduced staff, delaying less-critical activities.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas

Process Safety Beacon
One hundred years ago, on Oct. 14, 1913, the Senghenydd Colliery in Glamorgan, South Wales, exploded, resulting in 439 fatalities. This was the worst coal mine disaster in the history of the U.K. The incident is believed to have been started by...

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Air Power

Process Safety Beacon
Air is always all around us, and the oxygen it contains is necessary for life. But, compressed air (or any other compressed gas) contains a lot of energy and can cause major damage if a vessel or pipe fails.

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Can a Water Pump Explode?

Process Safety Beacon
The answer must be yes, or we would not have a Beacon on this subject. The centrifugal pumps in the pictures are all water pumps that exploded. The explosions did not occur because of any contamination or chemical reaction with something that was...

CEP: Process Safety Beacon - Remembering Piper Alpha

Process Safety Beacon
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha offshore oil platform disaster in the North Sea approximately 110 miles (180 km) from Aberdeen, Scotland. On July 6, 1988, a series of catastrophic explosions and fires destroyed the platform...

Guidelines for Engineering Design for Process Safety, 2nd Edition

April, 2012
The book focuses on process safety issues in the design of chemical, petrochemical, and hydrocarbon processing facilities. It discusses how to select designs that can prevent or mitigate the release of flammable or toxic materials, which could lead to a fire, explosion, or environmental damage.

Guidelines for Acquisition Evaluation and Post Merger Integration

June, 2010
It is crucial for process safety professionals to be aware of best practices for post merger integration at any level. A compilation of industry best practices from both technical and financial perspectives, this book provides a single reference that addresses acquisitions and merger integration...

Guidelines for Developing Quantitative Safety Risk Criteria

August, 2009
Written by a committee of safety professionals, this book creates a foundation document for the development and application of risk tolerance criteria. Helps safety managers evaluate the frequency, severity and consequence of human injury Includes examples of risk tolerance criteria used by NASA,...

Continuous Monitoring for Hazardous Material Releases

March, 2009
Whether occurring accidentally or through acts of terrorism, catastrophic chemical releases must be identified early in order to mitigate their consequences. Continuous sensor monitoring can detect catastrophic chemical releases early enough to curb extreme amounts of damage. In several notable...

Incidents That Define Process Safety

March, 2008
Incidents That Define Process Safety describes approximately fifty incidents that have had a significant impact on the chemical and refining industries' approaches to modern process safety. Events are described in detail so readers get a fundamental understanding of the root causes, the...

Guidelines for Safe and Reliable Instrumented Protective Systems

April, 2007
This book explains the decision-making processes for the management of instrumented protective systems (IPS) throughout a project's life cycle. It uses the new IEC 61511 standard as a basis for the work processes used to achieve safe and reliable process operation. By walking the reader through a...

Human Factors Methods for Improving Performance in the Process Industries

December, 2006
Human Factors Methods for Improving Performance in the Process Industries provides guidance for managers and plant engineering staff on specific, practical techniques and tools for addressing forty different human factors issues impacting process safety. Human factors incidents can result in injury...

Guidelines for Mechanical Integrity Systems

July, 2006
In recent years, process safety management system compliance audits have revealed that organizations often have significant opportunities for improving their Mechanical Integrity programs. As part of the Center for Chemical Process Safety's Guidelines series, Guidelines for Mechanical Integrity...

Chemical Reactivity Hazard Training CD-ROM

May, 2006
The Chemical Reactivity Hazards CD is a self-paced teaching tool intended to teach people how to recognize and manage reactive chemical hazards. It provides an introduction to the topic and many online links to additional resources. The CD has three main objectives: Introduce reactive chemical...

Guidelines for Safe Handling of Powders and Bulk Solids

November, 2004
Powders and bulk solids, handled widely in the chemical, pharmaceutical, agriculture, smelting, and other industries present unique fire, explosion, and toxicity hazards. Indeed, substances which are practically inert in consolidated form may become quite hazardous when converted to powders and...

Guidelines for Preventing Human Error in Process Safety

August, 2004
Almost all the major accident investigations--Texas City, Piper Alpha, the Phillips 66 explosion, Feyzin, Mexico City--show human error as the principal cause, either in design, operations, maintenance, or the management of safety. This book provides practical advice that can substantially reduce...

Guidelines for Facility Siting and Layout

August, 2003
A resource for individuals responsible for siting decisions, this guidelines book covers siting and layout of process plants, including both new and expanding facilities. This book provides comprehensive guidelines in selecting a site, recognizing and assessing long-term risks, and the optimal lay...
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