Precise Process Safety Information: A Key for Successful Process Safety Management Program

Global Congress on Process Safety
AIChE Spring Meeting and Global Congress on Process Safety
April 29, 2013 - 2:30pm-3:00pm
Process safety has become one of the inevitable elements in keeping businesses in various industries sustainable. Various industries have suffered painful lessons from incidents and have taken steps to prevent similar tragedies from re-occurring. The Bhopal incident in 1984 and the more recent Deepwater Horizon incident are few examples which show the catastrophic impact of process safety related incidents. Although eliminating risk entirely is not feasible, especially in handling highly hazardous chemicals, recent progress in process safety has improved safety performance through recognizing the risk and implementing safety measures to prevent or mitigate catastrophic consequences.

 A safety management system provides a systematic way to identify hazards and control risks while maintaining assurance that these risk controls are effective. The main objective of any safety management program is to reduce the risk to a level that is as low as is reasonably practicable. Although all of the elements of a safety management program are important, one of the core requirements is maintaining accurate process safety information. If these data are not maintained, discrepancies cannot be identified during the Process Hazard Analysis or Pre Startup Safety Reviews, Procedures and Training elements will be based on incorrect information, and loss of containment or other catastrophic events could result from problems with Hot Work, Mechanical Integrity, and other elements. This paper proposes a new methodology to ensure proper documentation of the critical systems and introduces a three phase system to ensure correct, up-to-date process safety information. The paper illustrates how up-to-date process safety information leverages overall process safety management program.

 The paper will assist upstream facility personnel to utilize good engineering practice in design and documentation of critical systems, to meet both onshore and offshore process safety requirements, and to develop consistent company best practices for process safety management. In addition to the documentation methodology, the three phase approach furnishes a company with an effective tool for designing, developing and implementing a PSI program that will not only be in compliance with regulation, but will provide a basis for maintaining process, production and facility equipments in a reliable and safe operating condition.

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