Reflexes filosficas e sociais sobre a operao de complexos qumicos industriais

  • Type:
    Conference Presentation
  • Conference Type:
    AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
  • Presentation Date:
    May 1, 2013
  • Duration:
    30 minutes
  • Skill Level:
  • PDHs:

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The philosophical and social issues in the operation of chemical complexes


In the Management of Process Safety Based on Risk, the technology issues, seem to steal the attention when, through them we feel that everything is solved when we design a robust safety instrumented system, with a good basic design and excellent engineering design process that results in a fully automated factory with last generation SDCDs, PLCs.

All this, with a high level of safety instrumented, raises confidence that the process is protected from any anomaly that may cause a major accident. All these layers of protection from various elements of GSPBR, alarms, physical protections and advanced controls, may not represent many issues, facing human action in these complex systems industries.

In this context of high technology, philosophical and social issues seem to play a key role in driving all this technology that, despite having been designed by man, often don’t take them into consideration.

In different cultures, understanding of reality is filtered and evaluated according to beliefs and values that govern the morals and customs, and through this understanding is that the actions happen, trying to follow a context and a universal practice, but with cultural matters that can bring the whole enterprise to failure.

In Latin America and especially in Brazil, we had the advantage of receiving processes already developed in Europe and in the United States that made it easier learning and in many cases guaranteed safe operation with both advances and improvements, provided by Brazilian cultural characteristics troubleshooting.

In this respect, the basic process control, dominated mainly by the Operator may be affected by these cultural characteristics that often is not taken into account by the designer, who creates DCS screens, layout panels, engineering manuals that do not meet the needs of that population in that region.

This work aims to bring attention to the values and human factors that must be taken into consideration in any project requiring organizations that handle dangerous technologies to strive to understand the gap between the practices used in day-to-day work and standards and procedures in place, considering that cultural differences and differences in understanding of reality may not always be interpreted only as human error.

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