(329a) Risk Assessment in Unit Operations Laboratories

Carter, T. - Presenter, Northeastern University
Brennan, M. J., Washington University in St. Louis
Azarin, S. M., University of Minnesota
Karlsson, A. J., University of Maryland
Wilson, S., University of Kentucky
Barr, C., University of Michigan
Incorporating chemical process safety into the Unit Operations Laboratories is the goal of six faculty and instructors from six different universities. Seven specific learning outcomes are being integrated into the curriculum, as recommended by the AICHE SAChE Committee to meet ABET requirements. One of these learning outcomes is to introduce the process of hazard evaluation and risk assessment.

Risk assessment entails identifying the frequency and the consequence of an incident. In order to identify the frequency of incidents in UO labs, two different incident reporting structures were implemented in two different universities. These reporting structures allow students, teaching assistants and faculty to report incident frequencies. Reports generated from these structures enable the programs to quantify the frequency of incident occurrences.

The other aspect of risk assessment is identifying the consequence. There are a range of consequences and these consequences must be categorized in terms of low, medium and high. While death and millions of dollars in damage may be obvious high consequences, the tolerance for risk may be much lower in an academic environment, For instance, a high consequence incident may be a student burn or damage to a $100 piece of equipment. Utilizing the collective knowledge of the group, a consequence scale was established.

This presentation will present details on the reporting structures and a risk matrix that may be used for university unit operations laboratories.