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(219a) Industrial Safety Curriculum for Chemical Engineering Education

Miller, J., New Mexico State University
Rockstraw, D., New Mexico State University
Basic knowledge of safety is critical for engineers in all industrial fields, Chemical Engineers face hazards from chemicals reactions, fire and explosions, pressurized and high temperature flows, dust, industrial hygiene, and toxic releases to name a few. Accidents can be devastating to an industrial plant and the surrounding community so engineers must understand how to model releases and perform emergency planning for these events. After the Chemical Safety Board (CSB) analyzed several industrial accidents and found that lack of safety education was a major cause, ABET added a requirement to its Program Criteria stating that “the curriculum must include the engineering application of these basic sciences to the design, analysis, and control of chemical, physical, and/or biological processes, including the hazards associated with these processes.” NMSU has chosen to include a course in Industrial Safety, to the core courses for a bachelor’s degree, to comply with this requirement.

This Industrial Safety Course explores a wide range of safety topics to ensure that students receive an awareness of various types of major hazards. They need to understand the purpose of Process Safety Management (PSM) and how it applies to industry. Other regulations are addressed to highlight requirements for industry and to serve as guidance on best practices. Emphasis on hazard identification and risk analysis methods are used to ensure that students develop a mindset of recognizing dangerous situations, considering the frequency that hazards occur and developing approaches to mitigate hazards.

Real world examples from Chemical Safety Board (CSB) videos, reference materials and instructor experience bring these ideas to life. NMSU utilizes two project scenarios, one as an individual and one as a small group, during the course to allow students evaluate what they have learned and present it to a larger audience. Hazard recognition and risk analysis of these project scenarios are developed and presented along with engineering calculations for safety systems.


This paper has an Extended Abstract file available; you must purchase the conference proceedings to access it.


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