2021 AIChE Spring Meeting & 17th GCPS Short Courses | AIChE

2021 AIChE Spring Meeting & 17th GCPS Short Courses

The 2021 AIChE Spring Meeting & 17th Global Congress on Process Safety will now be held virtually on Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 9AM - 5PM Central Time. 

You can register for any of these short courses by selecting the course title during the 2021 AIChE Spring Meeting and 17th GCPS online registration process or call customer service at 1.800.242.4363 to add the courses to your registration.


Short Course List

Click the plus sign on any of the courses below for a full description.

S1: Understanding and Improving Human Reliability through Written Procedures and Other Job Aids

Location: Virtual TBD

Price: $500

Instructor: Sunil Lakhiani

Book: No Book 


According to the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), developing and implementing effective written procedures provides a fundamental building block for an effective Process Safety Management system. Furthermore, procedures and the safe work practices they describe constitute two of the nine elements associated with the Managing Risk pillar of the CCPS guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety. It is clear that procedures and other job aids are essential aspects of managing high-hazard systems.

Deviations of content, format and layout of information from Human Factors principles can lead to costly human errors and, in turn, can result in catastrophic incidents. This short course not only presents these Human Factors principles but also provides unique perspectives on them. Bases for the principles are explained using understandable examples from scientific literatures in cognitive neuroscience and psychology. This information affords attendees insights not only into how to create effective new procedures and job aids, but also how to identify potential human performance gaps that can arise from current work activities. It is important that organizations in the process industries understand these principles of human performance in assessing future and current practices for developing, reviewing, evaluating, and verifying procedures and other job aids. This assessment is the first step in creating a process to help ensure that the procedures and job aids are consistent with the Human Factors principles geared toward enhancing the safety, productivity, reliability, and general effectiveness of the work systems. Clear, accurate and consistent procedures and job aids not only help organizations train and evaluate the performance of the stakeholders, but also help organizations improve human reliability through evaluation of human error potential.

This course also introduces Human Factors principles related to human error taxonomies as applicable to the development and evaluation of procedures and job aids. Course instructors will discuss the guidelines for designing procedures not only based on the multiple scientific literatures but also industry best practices. In addition, the instructors will use example procedures to engage the attendees in class workshop activities to apply the principles and guidelines. Lastly, this course will introduce to the attendees a methodology for human reliability assessment: The Human Error Assessment and Reduction Technique (HEART). This technique utilizes procedures for a step-by-step team approach to assess the human error probabilities that could be incorporated into valuable risk assessment methods, such as Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA). Attendees will therefore come away from the class with several valuable tools that they can readily implement to help improve human performance and prevent incidents in their organizations.


  • Introduction
    • Introduction to human performance and error
    • Core Human Factors principles
    • Pillars of Risk Based Process Safety
  • Human Factors Guidelines for Procedures Development and Evaluation
    • Format and layout
    • Procedural steps wording
    • Procedural steps numbering system
    • Branching
    • Associated job aids
    • Warnings and safety information
    • Tables and figures
    • Applicable science and industry principles
    • Discussion of practices at various organizations
  • Human Reliability Analysis (HRA)
    • Introduction to HRA
    • Human Error Assessment and Reduction Technique
    • Benefits and costs
    • Realistic application examples

S2:Dust Explosion Dynamics 

Location: Virtual TBD

Price: $500

Instructor: Russell Ogle

Book: No Book 


The purpose of this short course is to reveal the combustion science behind combustible dust hazards. Numerous examples will be presented from case studies to illustrate the application of dust explosion dynamics to dust hazard analysis (DHA) and risk assessment.

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate how the fundamental principles of combustion science can be applied to understand the four primary combustible dust hazards: smoldering, flash fires, dust deflagrations, and flame acceleration effects
  • Explore fundamental dust combustion concepts as a scientific foundation for dust hazard analysis (DHA) and risk assessment
  • Present detailed examples to give insight into the hazards of combustible dust as well as an introduction to the relevant scientific literature


  1. Introduction to combustible dust hazards

  2. The key physical properties of combustible dust
  3. Thermodynamics of dust combustion
  4. Transport phenomena for dust combustion
  5. Smoldering phenomena
  6. Dust particle combustion models
  7. Unconfined dust flame propagation
  8. Confined unsteady dust flame propagation (deflagrations)
  9. Dust flame acceleration effects (shock waves, detonations, and pressure piling)
  10. Applications of dust explosion dynamics to dust hazard analysis (DHA)

Who Should Attend?

Process engineers, plant managers, safety and health professionals, chemical engineers, process safety professionals, and others who seek a better understanding of combustible dust hazards.

S3:Investigating Process Safety Incidents & Near Misses

Location: Virtual TBD

Price: $500

Instructor: Brenton Cox

Book: No Book 


A principal goal of process safety professionals everywhere is to prevent chemical process incidents from occurring. However, even the most risk-averse organizations experience learning opportunities. Through the scientific investigation of incidents and near misses, a company can take advantage of these opportunities and acquire the knowledge necessary to avoid repeating past mistakes. Effectively sharing lessons learned may also reduce the frequency of similar incidents across the Chemical Process Industry.

This course will follow the incident investigation techniques set forth in CCPS’ most recent edition of Guidelines for Investigating Process Safety Incidents, while incorporating information from other industry guidance documents. Each aspect of incident investigation will be illustrated with case studies pulled from real incidents and near misses. The course will incorporate brief exercises to provide attendees with hands-on experience in applying investigation principles.

The curriculum will proceed chronologically through an investigation, first discussing the initial response to an incident or near miss. Then the course will cover the assembly of an investigation team, which can span from two engineers to a multidisciplinary team of experts. The team picks up where the initial response left off, preserving and collecting forensic evidence, witness statements, and process information. Then the data is analyzed in an attempt to determine the direct and root causes of the incident or near miss. Last but not least, the findings of the investigation are documented and shared.


  • Introduction
  • Learning from Engineering Disasters
    • Documentation and Sharing of the Lessons Learned
    • Effective Communication of Findings
    • Developing Effective Recommendations
  • Incident Investigation
    • Initial Response
    • Assembling a Team
    • Basic Investigation Techniques
    • Collecting and Preserving Forensic Evidence
  • Direct and Root Cause Determination
    • Structured Techniques for Cause Determination
    • Causal Factors & Root Causes
    • Human Factors
  • Case Studies in Applying Structured Techniques

S4:Risk Perception Based on Human Factors 

Location: Virtual TBD

Price: $500

Instructor: Salvador Ávila

Book: No Book 


In current times where social conflicts, environmental restrictions - climate change, geopolitical issues, changes in nature, uncontrolled biota and degradation of industrial sites, the

need to discuss events in parallel and consecutively is evident. The perception that major events are coming is coincident for all segments of the economy and society.

The Black Swan is an event that occurs outside of expectations in which past events do not point to its existence. The occurrence of this event can generate an extreme impact according to the activities developed in the area and, despite being an isolated event, human nature requires explanations for its occurrence that are often invented, making it falsely explainable and predictable.

The identification and analysis of deviations in multidimensional environments should assist in the construction of almost accident and accident scenarios. However, how to identify the black swan if the event occurs in a flock causing immeasurable impacts on the economy and society? The major concern is that we are unable to prevent catastrophic events involving the social, technical and environmental sectors simultaneously. From the dynamics of social culture, obsolete installations, climate changes, strengthening of the bacterium-virus and the global geopolitics, some rare events indicate that the system is constantly changing. In this context, it is important to notice the deviations and identify the black swan, since the accident is totally unknown and not identified as a problem. In addition to developing strategic intelligence associated with risk perception to make sense of existing information fragments.

Currently, the demands for improving the reliability of systems and preventing major impacts from risk analysis make environments less vulnerable. In 2019, a master's program was developed for the Fire Department to train professionals in crises, developing skills in the areas of risk, crisis, management, research, human factors and strategic intelligence. In addition to the application of simulated and practical cases related to the mitigation of incidents and accidents and resource management for the crisis.


The Reason Swiss cheese model indicates that organizational and managerial sectors can generate situations that negatively energize the operational environment, potentiating the situation, approaching the level of causing an accident. In this case, the safety measures established between the equipment, processes and people that are elaborated during the risk analysis phase of the project, the assembly and the operation, may fail and do not contain the danger energy that permeates the facilities and the people. Based on this interpretation, new physical, managerial and process control systems should be developed to review barriers and security mechanisms to ensure the stability of the system in relation to unexpected events that may adversely affect the image company. Most risk and failure analysis tools interpret events in a simple and independent way. However, due to the automation of processes, the existing environmental requirements and, mainly, the amount of hazard energy, stressing elements appear in the production system, require more complex tools, to a dynamic risk and failure analysis. Therefore, ways are being developed to measure the active danger energy of the system, that is, without contention, which are expressed by the quality of the products, unwanted behaviors and flaws in the information flow registered and observed in relation to emerging social (events that can affect the workstation) and physical movements (failure history).

The active hazard energy that circulates in the system is characterized by the technicaloperational culture related to the critical human factors and elements of the operation from the unwanted events and the behavior of the operators and the STAFF Company. Ávila (XXX), managed to identify the location of the danger energy through the analysis of the operator's speech in the routine, and the reaction of the team in decision making in accident situations (LODA, XXXX), by investigating scenarios in a focused training in the development of risk perception.

The repetition of deviations can directly cause the accident or, after a chain reaction, the top event with more serious consequences, thus increasing the discourse of the managers of oil companies in the GCPS about the possible flight of the Black Swan on a global scale that could happen. The phenomenon of the Black Swan implies that, even if the security and culture systems in a given operational context are within normal limits, deviations, events, latent and hidden flaws and emerging social movements can induce the appearance of undue behaviors, which they cause cognitive gaps in the routine and situations of high stress. These situations involve different areas such as engineering, psychology, linguistics, administration and sociology, making up the multidimensionality of environments in the appearance of the black swan, an unexpected event. In this context, Bird's pyramid turns into a Christmas tree with intermittency in the intermediate phases and the hypothesis arises that industrial events may occur in parallel to high impact public events.

Preliminary diagnoses during the Course

Working with behavioral aspects in line with technological aspects is a challenge taking into account the current characteristics of the hazardous energy-generating environment and the complexity of technologies. Therefore, the CCPS is focused on the discussion on what causes the Normalization of deviations and how to avoid the accident after organizational changes. Different regions, leaders, technologies and organizations can boost the danger energy towards the accident. The work of adjusting the safety and organizational culture, the worker's interfaces with production, the quality of communication (standard and feedback), the level of cooperation and the level of commitment need confirmation through routine (operator's speech) or of polling during moments of awareness in relation to the position of the operational culture and points of concentration of the danger energy. Training on risk perception based on behavior brings an approximation to this “operational truth”. In this proposal, a preliminary diagnosis is offered on general and specific aspects that affect the team's behavior that interventions are needed to leave the incident region.

S5:Understanding and Applying Human Factors in the Process Industry

Location: Virtual TBD

Price: $500

Instructor: Mark Hansen

Book: No Book 


Human Factors is rooted in system reliability and was forged by recognizing that human capabilities and limitations are often challenged by system design.  Deviations from an individual’s expectations can have a significant detrimental effect on system function leading to system instability, or worse, system destruction.  This course will provide insights to the differences between Human Factors and Ergonomics, especially when it comes to information displays and system controls.  Attendees will lean the universal application of the Principles of Human Factors through case studies and will learn how to apply these principles to reduce human error(s), reduce fatigue, reduce mental workload, reduce accidents, and improve safety.  In addition, attendees will learn how to apply the Principles of Human Factors to System Assessment and Design and be able to make significant contributions to their organization’s Engineering Design for Safety program.  Process safety professionals are often asked to provide inputs to issues that involve human factors.  Having a basic understanding of human factors can aid them in preventing workplace injuries and illnesses.  An understanding of human factors can broaden process professional’s knowledge and expertise in this safety-related discipline.


  • Introduction to Human Factors Principles
  • Mental workload
  • Stress and Fatigue
  • Display and Control Design
  • Human Error
  • Human Errors, Accidents and Safety
  • System Design and Assessment
  • Example Application of Human Factors Principles in the Process Industry
  • Summary and Conclusions

Learning Objectives: at the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  1. Understand the difference between Human Factors and Ergonomics
  2. Understand the Principles of Human Factors and their universal application
  3. Understand the relationship between ‘poor’ human factor s design and workload, stress fatigue and errors
  4. Understand the importance of control and display design
  5. Understand the roots of human errors and that not all human error is human
  6. How to apply the Principles of Human Factors to Design for Safety
  7. How to identify and improve Human Factors Opportunities to reduce error and reduce workload

Who  Should Attend?

Process engineers, plant managers, safety and health professionals, chemical engineers, process safety professionals, and others who are involved with system analysis and design

S6: Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) - Updated

Location: Virtual TBD

Price: $500

Instructor: Arthur (Art) M. Dowell, III, P.E. & William Bridges 

Book: No Book 

Are proposed or existing combinations of safeguards enough to prevent an accident or mitigate the consequences? Do you perceive that doing a fully quantitative risk assessment (QRA) would be over-working the problem?

Then Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) is the new tool you need to learn. LOPA combines both qualitative and quantitative elements of hazard evaluation and risk assessment to analyze and judge the adequacy of existing or proposed safeguards against process deviations and accident scenarios. A key to the success of LOPA is its rules for judging if protection layers are truly independent. Because of these rules, LOPA helps the analysts make consistent judgments of if the risk of scenarios are “as low as reasonably practical (ALARP)”.

This “How To” course is taught by one of the principal authors of the AIChE/CCPS book, Layer of Protection Analysis (2001). The course will also bring you up-to-date on changes from the newly released Guidelines for Initiating Events and Independent Protection Layers, CCPS/AIChE (Mr. Bridges, the instructor, was the primary author of this textbook).

Workshops are used as the primary mode of teaching each aspect of LOPA. You will perform several complete LOPA before leaving class.

What You Will Learn:

  • When and how to use LOPA and How to systematically create risk scenarios
  • How to establish risk acceptance (risk tolerance) criteria for use within your company (this is also called development of ALARP criteria)
  • How to calculate “as-is” risk for a cause-consequence pair: Estimate the frequency of the initiating event and estimate consequence
  • What is meant by “independence” and “uniqueness” with respect to IPLs
  • How to use LOPA to determine the Safety Integrity Level (SIL) necessary for an instrument IPL (to comply with the requirements of IEC 61508/61511)
  • How other companies worldwide use LOPA to: Decide which PHA/HAZOP recommendations to reject and which to accept
  • Focus limited resources within mechanical integrity departments and operations on what is critical to manage risk to ALARP
  • Avoid wasting resources on quantifying risk using QRA methods • Perform specialized risk modeling for facility siting questions

Take Home:

  • Comprehensive course notebook containing: Examples of risk acceptance and judgment protocols & Industry examples and solutions to all LOPA workshops
  • Certificate of Completion and 0.7 CEUs & 0.7 COCs

Typical Course Candidates

This course is designed for experienced PHA/HAZOP leaders. Other individuals with a strong technical background (such as engineers and scientists) may attend:

  • Managers of Operations, Safety; Project Managers; Engineers – Process, Safety, and Mechanical; PSM Coordinators and Managers

Course Outline

1-Day (9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Introduction to LOPA
  • Learning objectives and goals of using the LOPA technique
  • What is LOPA? How is LOPA applied? Definitions? When is LOPA used?
Developing LOPA Scenarios
  • Selecting candidate scenarios from brainstorming hazard evaluations
  • Scenarios from design questions and from incidents
Estimating the Consequence of the Scenario
  • Using a look-up table of consequence; Developing a consequence look-up table for your company; Alternative methods for estimating consequences
  • Workshop 1: Estimating the consequence of a scenario (part of a continuing example)
Estimating the Likelihood of the Selected Initiating Event
  • Using a look-up table of initiating event categories and frequencies
  • How to develop an initiating event look-up table for your company
  • Addressing enabling conditions and time-dependent initiating events
  • Workshop 1: Estimating the frequency of an initiating event of a scenario (part of a continuing example)
Estimating the Probability of Failure of Independent Protection Layers
  • Definitions, rules, and exceptions for giving credit for an independent protection layer (IPL); Using a look-up table of IPL categories and probability of failure on demand (PFOD); How to develop an IPL look-up table
  • Workshop 1: Deciding which safeguards are valid IPLs and estimating the PFOD of the valid IPLs (part of a continuing example)
Calculating the Risk
  • Using a standardized LOPA worksheet; Rules for calculating risk for an individual scenario (LOPA); Rules for summing risk of related scenarios
  • Workshop 1: Calculating the risk of a LOPA scenario (part of a continuing example)
Judging the Risk
  • Examples of risk tolerance criteria from the industry
  • Development and implementation of a company risk tolerance criteria
  • Workshop 1: Judging the risk of a LOPA scenario (cont. example)
Special Applications of LOPA
  • Using LOPA for facility siting questions; Selecting the SIL for an interlock