(160a) Incorporation of Inherent Safety Principles in Process Safety Management

Authors: 
Amyotte, P. R., Dalhousie University
Khan, F. I., Memorial University of Newfoundland
Goraya, A. U., Dalhousie University


Process Safety Management (PSM) deals with identification, understanding and control of process hazards to prevent process-related injuries and incidents. Although most companies that handle hazardous materials have implemented process safety management systems, process-related incidents still occur throughout the world.

The quality of PSM systems can be improved by an effective auditing protocol. Identifying quality issues in a PSM system can be difficult, however, because this requires that the auditor have extensive experience in the PSM elements being audited by means of what can be a time-consuming (albeit necessary) methodology. Incorporation of inherent safety principles in the basic definition and functional operation of PSM elements can improve the quality of PSM to a great extent. Previous work by the current authors has demonstrated that several of the PSM elements have at least a partial basis in the principles of inherent safety. For example, Human Factors has strong overtones of inherently safer design, particularly with respect to the principle of simplification in considering the operator-process/equipment interface. Similarly, many of the risk reduction measures identified under Process Risk Management have a foundation in inherent safety.

The proposed presentation will identify a framework for incorporation of the principles of inherent safety within a process safety management system, in particular the following elements: Process Hazard Review; Process Risk Management; Management of Change; Process Equipment Integrity; Human Factors; Training and Performance; Incident Investigation; Standards, Codes and Regulations. Both qualitative and quantitative measures for inherent safety consideration will be described. Qualitative work will be demonstrated with a methodology developed for Management of Change (MOC). The usefulness of the technique developed for MOC will be demonstrated by application to the Flixborough explosion that occurred in the UK in 1974. This process-related disaster resulted in the deaths of 28 workers, serious injuries to 36 other personnel, and complete destruction of the plant. The purpose in presenting this case study is twofold ? to validate the methodology, and to identify the inherent safety considerations that could have prevented the incident (within the context of MOC).

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