17th Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS) | AIChE

17th Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS)

  • -

    Hilton, Austin
  • The Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS) is one of the three parallel symposia that comprise the Global Congress on Process Safety. Since its inception in 1992, the Process Plant Safety Symposium has provided perspectives, methods and tools that could be readily practiced at the plant level.
    The 17th symposium will consist of several sessions, each with up to six 30-minute presentations. Papers are selected by session chairs based on an abstract of 100 to 200 words. The abstract must provide a brief account of the contents, conclusions, and the relevance of the findings. Submitted abstracts must include the author, the author’s affiliation, full address, email and phone number. Papers must focus on perspectives, methods and/or tools that could be practiced at the plant level. Where appropriate, illustration of the issues or concepts using case studies is encouraged. The papers will be published in the PPSS proceedings. 
    "Perspectives, mehtods and tools that could be readily practiced at the plant level"

    PPSS Chair

    Featured Topics

    Joint Session

    Call for Abstarcts


    Getting the Most from Your Process Safety Near Misses

    Significant process safety incidents and even minor incidents in the chemical and related industries are caused primarily by management system failures. The proper investigation of these incidents should identify the management system failures and the right corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence of not only the event that occurred, but also similar events.  But these types of improvements take place after an undesired consequence has occurred.  A program focused on identifying, tracking and investigating process safety near misses can address management system failures BEFORE a significant incident can occur. This session seeks papers that demonstrate how organizations have implemented process safety near miss programs and used them to drive a reduction in management system failures and ultimately a reduction in the number of incidents.  Topics can include how data analysis on near misses is done, what is done with the data to drive improvement, how the learnings from an event in one facility is shared across the organization, and how improvements are seen as a result of the efforts.  Preference will be given to papers that can illustrate their organization’s program with real-life examples and techniques that the audience can apply broadly.

    LOPA and the Process Safety Lifecycle

    Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) has become a popular risk assessment tool since an early methodology was published in the 1993 CCPS publication, Guidelines for Safe Automation of Chemical Processes 1.   This session solicits papers which detail experiences and/or best practices that get to the practical application of LOPA and how it fits into the process safety lifecycle. Specifically, what has been experienced and/or what best practices have been established for going from LOPA through design, installation and maintenance of Independent Protection Layers (IPLs). The goal of this session is to aid practitioners in their use of this powerful and popular tool. 

    Return to Top 

    Application of Risk Analysis 

    Risk analysis is applied in the chemical process industries to better understand risks posed and allocate and prioritize resources.  Techniques range from the qualitative, to semi-quantitative, to fully quantitative and financial.  Risk analysis is applied to both fixed facilities and to transportation and distribution activities and helps to define the frequency and consequence of potential episodic process safety events. This session focuses on the application of risk analysis techniques, methods and tools to address real world problems through case studies and specific examples.  The session will incorporate two perspectives – that of company or site management seeking to make better risk-based decisions, and that of process safety and risk specialists selecting from and applying the most effective techniques and tools to evaluate and communicate risks as they advise management and business leaders.

    Return to Top 

    Best Practices in Process Safety and Risk Management 

    Process safety and risk management is the application of management controls of highly hazardous chemicals and process so that the risks of injuries and incidents are minimized.  This session solicits papers on experiences, best practices, and/or application of these management principles.  Examples may include application of inherently safer principles, improving efficiency and effectiveness of PHAs, data management for process safety, and/or real world examples of risk management practices in action.  The goal of this session is to aid the practitioner in the application and implementation of process safety and risk management principles.   

    Return to Top 

    Practical Application of PSM in Smaller Companies

    This session is focused on companies which may or may not fall, directly or indirectly, under regulations such as OSHA's 29CFR1910.119 Process Safety Management (PSM) regulation.
    Typically, small companies are much more resource limited in terms of man-power, and also may be constrained in terms of tools, and current knowledge, skills and abilities of its limited staff.  The approaches suitable for large, well-staffed, high-risk sites may be overly burdensome and ineffective for small, staff-challenged, low risk ones.
    The session aims to discuss tools/resources for implementation of a practical, functional PSM program. Papers are invited which provide observations, practices, legal-insight and experiences developing, implementing and maintaining PSM in smaller companies.

    Process Safety in Non-Regulated Processes or Sites 

    In the United States, the OSHA “Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals” Standard is a federal-level regulation that applies to processes, facilities or sites meeting the applicable threshold quantity limits.  Similar regulations exist in other countries throughout the world.  However, many chemical processing operations are not covered by mandatory process safety regulations at a federal, state, provincial or other level.  Yet, these facilities may contain significant process risks, similar to or greater than a regulated facility.  This session is open to papers pertaining to process safety in non-regulated facilities.  Topics for discussion may include comparisons between regulated and non-regulated facilities, comparisons between the United States regulatory environment and other regions globally, descriptions of voluntary process safety management systems, approaches to process risk management, and plant-level process safety programs as they apply to non-regulated facilities.  This session is specifically designed to highlight practical process safety and process risk management programs, including best practices, in non-regulated facilities.

    Return to Top 

    Case Studies on Methods and Tools for Improving Process Safety Culture

    Process Safety Culture is the collective practices and behaviors of an organization engaged in safely managing the use, storage, transport, and manufacturing of highly hazardous chemicals. The Baker Panel reported, "A positive safety culture is important to good process safety performance. Absent a healthy safety culture, even the best safety management systems will be largely ineffective in ensuring and sustaining excellent process safety performance." 1  From that point forward, companies have been striving to increase awareness, baseline existing status, and make measurable improvements in reaching a cultural state that supports process safety excellence. To effect a cultural change, it requires consistent values, messaging and actions from all levels of leadership in an organization. A measurable change takes time. This session solicits papers which share actual case studies, lessons learned, efforts underway, culture health evaluation and leading indicators being tracked regarding process safety culture.

    Return to Top 

    Technological Advances and their Impact on Process Safety

    There have and will continue to be technological advances in equipment, tools and methods intended for use at manufacturing sites.  Several notable ones of late include database driven software tools, advanced process control systems, new leak detection systems, and the increasing use of wireless forms of communication for maintenance, operator rounds, process control, and data communication.  There are process safety lifecycle aspects that should be considered throughout the development, engineering and implementation of these technologies.  This session is soliciting papers that focus not only on emerging technologies and tools but also on their integration and practical application at the plant and/or company level.  Submitted papers should focus on potential positive and/or negative impacts on process safety.  Consideration should be given to such items as management of change, hazard assessments, integrity management, control of hazards and integration with management systems as applicable to the subject.

    Return to Top 

    What You Need to Know about Process Safety for Capital Projects

    Management of Change programs are typically used in maintenance projects and expense-level projects to ensure process risk is effectively managed during the project.  Capital projects, however, may present unique challenges due to the substantial increases in scope, budget, resources, operability and safety requirements, and timelines for implementation relative to the more-frequently executed expense project.  Typically, capital projects also involve third party Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies. Such projects could also be designed for operation overseas, which adds complexity in terms of regulatory compliance and market demands of that country. All these factors, along with the stringent schedule constraints, can greatly magnify the complexity of the project, thus challenging the successful completion and execution of such projects.
    Operating companies often have unique programs or approaches to handling the challenges associated with capital projects yet, capital projects often run over schedule and over budget.  This session seeks papers that explore aspects of process safety and/or process risk management from a cradle to grave perspective, in the capital project execution process.  Papers which provide a compelling argument for a particular approach along with practical recommendations for implementation are of particular interest to this session.  

    Process Safety Management Audits 

    Process safety management (PSM) audits are “…a fundamental part of an effective PSM program because their purpose is to verify that systems to manage process safety are in place and functioning effectively, and to take corrective action when findings indicate that is warranted." 1  Based on regulatory requirements and/or good industry practice, many thousands of PSM audits have been performed in the global petrochemical and related industries.  This session solicits papers which detail experiences with and/or best practices for PSM audits.  Examples may include audit procedures/protocols, audit team composition and scheduling, techniques and tools for evaluating management systems (including record reviews, sampling, and interviewing), audit documentation and reports, communication of audit results, tracking/completion of audit recommendations, and similar topics.  The goal of this session is to provide session attendees with ideas on how to make their own PSM audits and auditing systems more effective.

    Return to Top 

    Case Histories and Lessons Learned

    This is always an important session that reviews significant incidents.  This session invites papers to help understand the causes and lessons learned from significant incidents. 

    Return to Top