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Process Safety Cards - a Good Deal Safer

Source: AIChE
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  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    April 21, 2021
  • Duration:
    60 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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Process Safety Cards have a simple goal – to improve the awareness of less technical personnel to potential Loss of (Primary) Containment (LoC) scenarios and increase their vigilance to such events & their potential causes so they can be promptly addressed. We do that with memorable images on familiar playing cards representing typical LoC events.

With an ageing workforce and increased outsourcing of maintenance and operations activities, it is vital that time and knowledge poor stakeholders (who typically fall outside corporate process safety training strategies) are engaged and equipped to ensure they play their part in sustaining the integrity of assets.

Users or ‘Players’ are encouraged & helped to learn & apply the principles using this simple mnemonic:

  • REMEMBER Events
  • RECOGNISE Threats
  • RESPECT Barriers
  • REPORT Concerns

Thereafter, there is an obligation on the duty-holder to:

  • RESPOND to Feedback
  • RECOVER Protection

Visualization is used to get and keep the workforce onboard with the process safety mission by challenging them with these simple questions:

  1. Do you UNDERSTAND what can wrong i.e. HAZARDS & LoC Events?
  2. Do you KNOW what the systems are to prevent this from happening i.e. BARRIERS?

It is anticipated that, not only will site personnel benefit from these cards, 3rd parties e.g. contractors, visitors or others who may fall outside company initiatives or training can become better informed on the hazards, threats & controls that they may be involved with or impacted by.

In crude terms, this encourages novices (less experienced) and practitioners (less technical) to "Know Your Enemy" - a term taken from the Sun Tzu book 'The Art of War' or more commonly recognised as "Most Wanted Cards" where LoC is everyone's opponent.

A pack of cards has 52 scenarios which are divided into the following ‘suits’:

♥ DISCHARGE Containment is lost via an open route to atmosphere
♣ DAMAGE External impact
♦ DEVIATION Failure beyond design conditions/envelope (over-stress)
â™  DEGRADATION Failure within conditions/envelope (under-strength)

These provide simple visual prompts to remind or inform “players” of the potential for LoC.

Scenario summaries are also presented as separate pages with one LoC on each sheet. They include typical (suggested) Causes for the loss and visual representations of the scenarios in bowtie format.

It is vital that, if the objective is to increase awareness & vigilance, appropriate resources are available to respond to questions or comments from card “players” i.e. they must be encouraged to report concerns e.g. barrier deficiencies or absence, otherwise there is limited opportunity for improvement.

In extreme cases, operations may need to be suspended, or in less urgent situations; planned corrective & preventive action may be required to recover protection or risk reduction measures to their intended presence and performance.

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Do you already own this?



AIChE Member Credits 0.5
AIChE Members $19.00
AIChE Graduate Student Members Free
AIChE Undergraduate Student Members Free
Non-Members $29.00