Exposing the Blurry Lines Between Personal Safety and Process Safety Education: Contrasting NIOSH Prevention Through Design (PtD) with CCPS Sache

Exposing the Blurry Lines Between Personal Safety and Process Safety Education: Contrasting NIOSH Prevention Through Design (PtD) with CCPS Sache
2011 AIChE Annual Meeting
AIChE Annual Meeting
October 17, 2011 - 8:00pm

Chemical engineering curricula have long been focused on instilling the fundamentals of chemical engineering science in undergraduates and advancing the state of the art through postgraduate study. Unfortunately, a comprehensive focus on safety has never been in the core of the chemical engineering curricula; however, since the T2 incident, industry stakeholders have pushed successfully for additional emphasis on process safety education in U.S. curricula. The SAChE program was created as a collaborative effort between CCPS and engineering schools to develop support materials to teach the elements of process safety to chemical engineering undergraduate and graduate students. Recently, NIOSH has led a national initiative called Prevention through Design (PtD) to address occupational safety and health needs in engineering design to “prevent or minimize the work-related hazards and risks associated with the construction, manufacture, use, maintenance, and disposal of facilities, materials, and equipment.” We have found that there is a blurry line between the concepts of process safety and personal (i.e., occupational) safety in both industry and in academia. Not only is there a hole in the chemical engineering curriculum, but also the distinction between the two sets of complementary safety objectives is little appreciated. This extended abstract aims to identify the core concepts of PtD as applicable to the chemical engineering curriculum and contrast those to the typical elements of process safety. The objective of the abstract is to provide an outline for creating a PtD module for the chemical engineering curriculum that complements the SAChE modules on process safety. We anticipate significant audience feedback during the session that will assist in the development of this module and aid in its implementation.

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