Process Safety

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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.

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...

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...

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.

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.

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.

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: 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.

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...

Conduct an Effective Incident Investigation

September
2004
Safety
Frederick T. Dyke
Information that can reveal the root cause of an incident resides in many places — within the plant or process unit, in control rooms and offices, and even in witnesses’ minds. Here’s how to find the data and conduct effective witness interviews.

Reduce Thermal Risk in Industrial Synthesis

October
2001
Safety
Richard C. Wedlich 
Knowing the safe operating conditions for a reaction allows us to select appropriate safety measures and thereby lower both the likelihood and the severity of a thermal runaway.

Properly Purge and Inert Storage Vessels

February
2001
Safety
George R. Kinsley Jr.
Inert gases are used to prevent fires and explosions in the vapor spaces of equipment. Correct selection of oxygen concentration and inert gas flow rate are critical to ensuring safety.

Tackling the Human Challenges of Facility Security

February
2006
Safety
Dennis A. Attwood, Bill Effron
The increased complexity of security systems may come at the expense of the user. Thus, they must be designed to match their operators' capabilities and limitations.

Consider Natural Hazards in Process Safety Management

July
2008
Safety
Frank F. Liserio Jr.
Incorporating hurricanes, earthquakes and other forces of nature into an integrated process safety management (PSM) program can enable you to effectively identify these hazards and manage the risks.

Remember Hand Protection

January
2005
Safety
Laura Randall
Setting up a hand-protection program involves understanding the hazards, choosing the appropriate glove, training personnel on glove use, and ensuring that employees use their gloves properly.

What Pressure Relief Really Means

September
2010
Back To Basics
Brian D. Kelly
Poor design, inadequate maintenance, and improper operation can all lead to mechanical failure. The basic concepts of pressure relief, when understood and applied properly, can help prevent this failure

Designing Multiple-Diameter Relief Piping

July
2007
Safety
John Garvin
Most design methods consider a single pipe diameter. Here's how to evaluate multiple-diameter systems and to calculate conservative single-pipe representations.

Use Case Histories to Energize Your HAZOP

March
2001
Safety
Glenn  Mahnken
Reviewing incident reports at a HAZOP meeting is more than just a lessons learned activity. It can spur sharper thinking and lead to a more telling analysis of your processes.

Designing Resilient Engineered Systems

April
2006
Safety
Susan M. Mitchell
By viewing resiliency as a property of complex systems, it may be possible to develop resilient systems that can withstand unanticipated failures without disastrous consequences.

Reduce VOC and HAP Emissions

June
2002
Environmental Management
Edward C. Moretti 
Follow this roadmap to understand the abatement technologies available for controlling emissions of volaitle organic compounds and hazardous air pollutants and the criteria for choosing among them.

Choose the Right Chemical-Resistant Glove

January
2005
Safety
Julie Copeland
Many gloves offer protection from chemicals. This article will help you understand what type of glove can provide the best protection for your application.

Avoid Natural Gas Piping Hazards

January
2011
Safety
John R. Puskar, P.E.
Repairing natural gas piping is inherently dangerous. Follow these safety protocols to avoid potentially catastrophic results from improper installation and repair of natural gas lines.

Process Safety Beacon - Emergency Preparation - The Titanic Disaster

July
2012
Process Safety Beacon
More than 1,500 people died in the most famous maritime disaster in history. Thousands of pages have been written about the loss of the Titanic, and many documentary and fictional movies produced. Many focus on the construction of the ship and the actions of its captain and crew. Whatever the construction and operating issues, attention to one particular issue could have saved many lives — emergency preparation.

Expanded Metal Networks: A Safety Net to Thwart Gas Explosions

December
2001
Safety
Hans K. Fauske, Robert E. Henry
Using active deflagration suppression is the usual way to prevent or mitigate gas explosions. However, this is not always practical. A passive method is now available - inserting a metal foil into the vessel to absorb the heat of reaction and...

Don't Let History Repeat Itself

August
2007
Safety
John F. Murphy, P.E.
Heed these lessons learned from investigations conducted by the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board to prevent accidents at your site.

Managing Transportation Safety and Security Risks

October
2009
Safety
Brad A. Fuller
Effective transportation risk management (TRM) balances safety and security with operational efficiency. When developing a TRM program, use this comprehensive framework and these practical techniques to identify and screen risks.

Screening Reactive Chemical Hazards

May
2006
Safety
Yen-Shan Liu
Use these tools to identify potentially reactive chemical hazards and avoid the expense of conducting numerous detailed hazard assessments.

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