34th Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) International Conference | AIChE

34th Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) International Conference

The Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) International Conference is one of four parallel symposia that comprise The Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS). Organized by volunteers from industry and academia, the CCPS conference promotes process safety by identifying emerging process safety issues and advancing leading process safety management practices. It is dedicated to managing process safety systematically, locally, regionally and internationally. 

CCPS Chair:

Session Topics:

Organizational and Leadership Issues in Process Safety 

Strong process safety leadership is essential for developing and maintaining a strong process safety culture.  Organizations and leaders face significant challenges associated with personnel issues, including managing organizational change, attracting and retaining talented process safety professionals, and developing process safety competency.  Deep subject matter expertise takes years to develop; but in today's workforce, talented employees often prefer a career path that involves multiple positions and the opportunity for rapid advancement.  This session seeks papers that highlight best practices for managing the challenges associated with personnel issues within process safety management and culture.

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Are You Sure Those Protection Layers Work?

Safeguards, controls, and layers of protection are put in place to keep operations within specified parameters or to provide mitigation if operations move outside of safe parameters and progress along the path to an incident.  These barriers can vary from simple and passive (such as a dike) to complex and active (such as a SIL-rated Safety Instrumented System).  Each barrier provides a part of the overall protection strategy to prevent process safety events.  Once a barrier has been designed and installed, it is critical to maintain it to ensure that it remains effective.  This session seeks papers that describe procedures and practices for tracking, auditing, inspecting, testing, and maintaining the integrity of these barriers throughout the entire lifecycle from commissioning to de-commissioning.

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Reliability and Process Safety 

A reliable chemical plant is safe, profitable, and environmentally responsible.  Reliable plants have higher capacity utilization and experience fewer process upsets and loss of primary containment (LOPC) events.  A "run to failure" mentality is often demonstrated by unplanned outages and associate process upsets and LOPC events.  Regulatory agencies require that mechanical integrity systems be developed for pressure vessels and storage tanks, piping systems, relief systems, emergency shutdown systems, controls, and pumps.  Extension of mechanical integrity programs beyond these six elements is both good business and good process safety as the infrastructure and utilities in a chemical plant also need to be properly maintained to ensure reliable and safe operation.  This session seeks papers that describe best practices in mechanical and asset integrity and the link with process safety excellence.  Of particular interest are examples of extension of mechanical integrity programs to critical utility systems, cooling towers, ventilation systems, and buildings and structures, as well as condition monitoring programs for equipment included in mechanical integrity programs.

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Process Safety Management Challenges with Infrastructure and Facility Siting

Process safety professionals face numerous challenges associated with infrastructure and facility siting.  Aging infrastructure and assets and recommissioning and creative re-use of existing assets for a new purpose present complicated challenges for risk management.  Issues with grandfathering assets and temporary operations need to be managed to ensure that risk is managed effectively in the short-term and that continued operation meets the company's risk tolerance.  Operating assets with shared responsibility with other partners, such as in an industrial park with many tenants or joint ventures, require coordination for activities such as emergency response and alignment of risk management between the tenants and partners.  This session seeks papers that describe best practices for risk management in complex operating environments, where infrastructure and facility siting issues present unique challenges for process safety management.

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Good, Fast, Cheap – Pick 2:  PSM Challenges in Capital Projects

The reality of the global market forces companies to innovate and grow quickly to take advantage of business opportunities Engineers are often challenged to manage process safety risk and develop effective safety system designs with limited time, resources, and process safety information.  This session seeks papers that describe methods and best practices for process safety management within the capital project process.  Of particular interest are stories related to innovative integration of process safety into process design at every stage of the capital project in ways that overcome the challenges associated with rapidly developing business opportunities. 

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Using Process Safety Metrics and Data to Drive Improvement

The API Recommended Practice 754: Process Safety Performance Indicators has defined a framework for Tier 1 through Tier 4 metrics. This session focuses on how organizations collect and utilize process safety metrics and data aligned to these tiers to improve the performance of a site, a business unit or even an entire corporate entity. The data and metrics can be “lagging”, in that the focus is on learning and implementing change based on past incident and near miss data.  Or they can be “leading”, in that the focus is on indicators that show that a future incident could occur if change is not implemented, such as Mechanical Integrity inspection results, PHA action item closure, and MOC metrics.  Preference will be given to papers that can demonstrate how organizations have seen true improvement in performance based on the efforts associated with the metrics tracking and follow-up.

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Return to Operations - The Final Check

Open drain valves remains one of the top causes of process safety incidents in industry. And there are numerous other issues that can arise during the startup of a plant or portion of a plant, such as instrument problems, contamination, blinds left in lines, etc. This session seeks papers discussing best practices for assuring operational readiness and preventing human error before the hazardous chemicals are introduced on initial commissioning or recommissioning.

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How to Be the Bad Guy: Courageous Process Safety Leadership

It is human nature to want to tell people good news.  But process safety practitioners sometimes have to be the “bad guy” or the person that intervenes and pushes back on what the plant personnel want to do to “get things done”.  This session seeks papers describing how to be influential leaders and inspire others to do the right thing and stop taking that short-cut to or spend the extra money to do things right. It’s not just about saying no; it’s about how to influence others to exhibit the right behaviors when it comes to process safety.

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Achieving Success in Process Safety, Beyond Compliance 

Complying with government regulations is a minimum expectation.  But compliance alone doesn’t result in excellence in process safety.  A strong process safety culture is essential to effectively manage risk and prevent process safety events.  Organizations with strong process safety cultures enforce high standards of process safety performance, maintain a sense of vulnerability, and respond effectively to process safety issues and concerns.  Achieving excellence in process safety performances requires the organization to continually improve performance. This session seeks papers that highlight programs that take process safety to the next level.  Examples of next level performance include implementation of targeted incident reduction efforts, focusing on process safety competence at the operator level and capitalizing on benchmarking and networking exercises between dissimilar geographies, business units or even companies to compare best practices.

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Extract the Most Value from Your Incident Investigations

A high performing organization utilizes an incident investigation process that drives to management system opportunities.  Doing this well takes a strong commitment of time and resources, as well as skill. This session seeks papers on how organizations drive high quality investigations and consistency across the enterprise.  Additional interest areas include focusing on effective reporting and the leveraging of learnings, especially how organizations disseminate those learnings across geographies and dissimilar business units to drive corporate cultural improvements.

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CCPS Spotlight 

Each year, the CCPS Technical Steering Committee develops a list of projects, and a Project Subcommittee is established for each approved CCPS project or group of associated projects. This session highlights recent CCPS projects, sharing a synopsis of the work product(s) from each project. 

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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.