(9a) The Process Plant Safety Symposium - Past, Present, and Future

Authors: 
Edwards, V., V H Edwards Technical Analysis
Study, K., The Dow Chemical Company
A number of major process incidents during the 1980s led OSHA to promulgate the Process Safety Management Regulation in 1992. Those incidents and the anticipation of the new OSHA regulations energized the South Texas Section of AIChE, and eight other organizations including CCPS to create the first Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS) in 1992.The symposium was held in Houston as a low-cost and convenient training forum for the large community of engineers and scientists at regional chemical process plants and refineries. 700 attended. The new OSHA regulations were first made public by the keynote speaker at the first PPSS, Gilbert Saulter, Region VI OSHA Administrator. Subsequently, the PPSS has evolved to become one of the three main tracks in AIChE’s Global Congress on Process Safety.

In the intervening years, eighteen PPSSs have been held. The unique focus of these symposia has been on practices, perspectives, methods, and tools to improve process safety at the plant level. This paper, presented at the 20th PPSS, reviews a number of examples of how progress in process safety has been facilitated by these symposia. The paper concludes with a look to the future for needed advances in process safety.

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