19th Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS) | AIChE

19th Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS)

Each year the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and the AIChE Safety & Health Division present the world’s largest gathering of process safety professionals, the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS). The focus of the Plant Process Safety Symposium (PPSS) focus is to provide proven best practices, perspectives, methods and tools that can be readily practiced and provide value to personnel at the plant level.

PPSS is inviting the process safety practitioners to submit abstracts for the upcoming 13th Global Conference on Process Safety in 2017. The conference will be held in San Antonio, TX March 26-30, 2017. The abstract should offer a brief (less than 200 words) account of the contents, conclusions, and the relevance to the topic area. 


PPSS Chair


Encouraged session topics for this symposia include:



Process Hazard Analysis – the Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Oftentimes following an incident, the dreaded question is asked, ‘was this considered in the Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)?’ If you happen to be a risk analyst tasked with facilitating PHAs, this is a question you quickly learn to dread. How do you consider every significant negative outcome? This session will focus on case histories involving hazards that went unidentified in the PHA as well as tools and methods to help ensure all significant hazards are identified and properly considered by the PHA team.

Return to top

LOPA and Bowties in Practice – Case Studies & Plant Applications

Layer of Protection Analysis is often the tool of choice in the chemical process industries for additional evaluation of risk, and consideration of mitigation options. Due to its simple, meaningful visual representation of risk, Bowtie analysis is already widely used in Europe and is gaining in popularity in the US. Bowties and other barrier methods consider the preventative and mitigative barriers in a hazardous chain of events. Case studies and examples of innovation in these techniques and applications of them to real-world problems are desired.

Return to top

Process Safety Challenges in Aging Facilities and Organizations

As facilities become older, process safety compliance becomes increasingly challenging. Often the original design data is missing, incomplete, or so highly modified that determining the design baseline is extremely difficult, leading to problems with Management of Change. As facilities get older, the “tribal knowledge” about installation, configuration and maintenance, is lost as the workforce retires and is replaced. This session seeks to identify the key process safety issues, associated with aging facilities, and approaches to mitigate these issues.

Return to top

Process Safety Challenges in Batch Operations

Batch operations are an important part of the chemical industry – extensively utilized at small chemical companies and playing a significant role at major chemical operators as well. The process safety challenges are significantly greater in the evaluation of batch processes, as the recipes change, chemicals and operating conditions vary, and as batch processes are often much more dependent upon chemical operators and the operating instructions they rely upon for many human actions. Process safety activities for batch operations typically are more complicated and require additional time for appropriate preparation, attention and consideration. A decision regarding even how to conduct a PHA, and what to review in it, can become an interesting challenge. This session will highlight the wide range of challenges specific to batch operations with a focus on providing practical advice and solutions.

Return to top

Practical Process Safety for Non-Covered Processes

Although Process Safety and its associated management systems are not a regulatory requirement in non-covered processes, most Process Safety practitioners recognize that their implementation in such processes can be of great benefit in improving safety, reliability, quality, and profits. This session welcomes papers sharing practical examples of implementing Process Safety in non-covered processes, along with the associated benefits noted and improvements achieved.

Return to top

Incident Investigations – Lessons Worth Sharing

There are typically lessons to be learned from all industrial process safety incidents. The key reason to learn from our past is to prevent repeat occurrences that can lead to tragic loss of life, insult to the environment, and/or equipment loss. This session will seek papers that present practical ways to improve the quality of incident investigations findings, improve the implementation of incident investigation learnings, better retain knowledge gained from incident investigations and/or present unusual incident investigative learnings. 

Return to top

The Process Safety Regulatory Climate - 2017

Within the past year, both EPA and OSHA have issued (or intend to issue) proposed changes in the US regulations governing process safety management (PSM). In addition, California has imposed (or intends to impose) additional regulatory requirements on refineries in that state.  Finally, there are other states and localities (e.g., New Jersey, Delaware, Contra Costa County) that have additional regulatory requirements “beyond” the national requirements. This session welcomes papers on (1) changes to national or state regulations, including their status and potential impacts and (2) experiences with applying additional or more stringent regulations at the state or local level.

Return to top

Using Data from Incident Investigations, Risk Assessments, and Mechanical Integrity to Improve Process Safety Performance

Plant personnel have access to a lot of data whether it be through incident investigations, risk assessment studies, mechanical integrity program, etc. However this data may not be used to its fullest potential to leverage process safety improvements. Can we for example use incident investigation data to find better ways of conducting investigations? Can we use the risk assessment outcomes to identify potential opportunities in our process safety information? This session seeks papers on practical approaches to access and analyze this information to identify weaknesses in systems and proactively address process safety issues.

Return to top

Ensuring the Correct Response from the First Line of Defense – Operators

Operators are the first line of defense for abnormal event management.  They are credited with having the training and discipline to follow procedures, respond to alarms, and manage events in a predictable manner.  There are numerous management system, organizational, and human factor related issues that influence the reliability of this workgroup.  Organizations are making investments in their operating procedures, training programs, and control systems to promote operational excellence.  This session is intended to be a showcase of tools and best practices that are making a notable difference in operator awareness, understanding and response to changing process conditions.

Return to top

Case Histories - GCPS Joint Session

Reviews of process safety incidents provide valuable learning opportunities.  This session invites papers to help understand the causes and lessons learned from incidents in the industry with an emphasis on events that have helped define and develop the process safety field over the years. 

Return to top