12th Process Safety Management Mentoring (PSMM) Forum | AIChE

12th Process Safety Management Mentoring (PSMM) Forum

The Process Safety Management Mentoring (PSMM) Forum is one of five parallel symposia tracks that comprise the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS).  The PSMM Forum is a tutorial-based track aimed at professionals who may be new to the field of process safety, those who now have a...

The Process Safety Management Mentoring (PSMM) Forum is one of five parallel symposia tracks that comprise the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS).  The PSMM Forum is a tutorial-based track aimed at professionals who may be new to the field of process safety, those who now have a management role in process safety, and to those interested in strengthening their knowledge of process safety. The principle behind the PSMM Track is to highlight tools, techniques, and lessons learned which would enhance delegates’ understanding of the applications of process safety management. 


Encouraged topics for this conference include, but are not limited to:

PSMM Chair & Vice Chair:

Session Topic Descriptions:

Tutorials in Process Safety – six sessions in partnership with other tracks in the 2020 GCPS for Call for Abstracts (CFA)

The objective of these sessions is to a provide process safety introductory and basic key skill sessions tutorials for attendees and are co-sponsored by three main symposia tracks in the Global Congress:  Loss Prevention Symposium (LPS), the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) International Conference, and the Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS).  Examples of topics include the following:

  1. Loss Prevention Symposium (LPS) – focused on technological advances in process safety 
    • Potential LPS Tutorial session(s) include modeling, consequence, and risk analyses of fires, explosions (including combustible dusts, detonation vs. deflagration), new development in failure databases, toxic releases, and reactive chemicals; siting of buildings and equipment; explosion prevention; pressure relief systems; and fire protection.

      Dust explosion safety continues to be an area of interest and development for loss prevention professionals. This session will provide an introduction to combustible dust hazards and their mitigation. The session will teach the attendees the characteristics of dusts that create a combustible dust hazard, introduce laboratory analysis techniques that are used to characterize the explosibility of dusts, and introduce design and safety management concepts that will aid a facility in identifying, managing, and mitigating combustible dust hazards.

  2. Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) International Conference – focused on promoting and advancing process safety management practices

    • Potential CCPS Tutorial session(s) include Risk-Based Process Safety (RBPS); understanding process hazards and risks; when to use which process hazard analysis method; inherently safer design, managing process risks; extreme weather safety planning; and learning from the experience of senior colleagues.

  3. Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS) – This tutorial is focused on the application of best practices for personnel at the plant level 
    • Potential PPSS Tutorial session(s) include: practical applications of process safety management principles (see CCPS RBPS elements); risk analyses; asset integrity/mechanical integrity, managing hot work, conduct of operations, layers of protection analyses; operational discipline and the influence of human factors.

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What I Want to Be When I Grow Up 

This session is sponsored by the Careers and Education Committee of the AIChE Safety & Health Division.  The objective of this session is to discuss career paths in Process Safety.  It is a call for four speakers to each provide a 15 min presentation on their career path and then participate in a 30 min panel Q&A session based on the following premise:

How can attendees use their industry experience and STEM education to protect people and the environment from hazardous situations?  How can they contribute to the safe and sustainable operation of manufacturing facilities?

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Lies We Tell Ourselves – Cognitive Bias and Human Performance in Process Safety                                                                                      

Humans are not great at assessing risk.  Technical professionals in particular tend to be an optimistic lot, ready to solve any problem by relying on their technical skills and experience.  They particularly struggle when it comes to assessing high consequence, low frequency events like those typically discussed during a Process Hazard Analysis (PHA).  They may fail to fully grasp the meaning of measurement in unfamiliar units, like risk criteria expressed in terms of once in a million years.  Papers in this session will discuss several lies we tell ourselves when confronted with the need to identify worst case scenario such as “It can’t happen here”, “It can’t possibly be that bad”, “We will know there is a problem and we will fix it”, and “We can engineer our way out of this”.

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What is Process Safety Culture and How Does It Apply to Me? – focused on defining process safety culture and how new process safety professionals can support a strong process safety culture.      

Process safety culture has been defined as “the combination of group values and behaviors that determine the manner in which process safety is managed.”  More commonly, it is simply “how we do things around here”.  Many new process safety professionals struggle to understand what process safety culture is and how it applies to them.  This session invites papers that provide an overview of process safety culture, characteristics of a strong safety culture, and the responsibility of every employee to support and strengthen their company’s process safety culture.  Authors may address topics such as how process safety culture is quantified and measured for continuous improvement purposes and how organizations can make the transition from anecdotes to actionable data. Examples of organizational structures that support a strong process safety culture as well as the process safety culture experience in smaller facilities are all welcome to provide an overview of what new process safety professionals experience across the profession.

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Conduct of Operations                                                                  

Conduct of operations, or operational discipline, is the execution of operational or management tasks in a structured manner. Procedure compliance, adherence to approved operating limits, emergency shutdown authority, stop work authority, and other activities are all critical attributes of process safety. Other critical attributes and activities in process safety programs, e.g., fitness for duty, fatigue management, formal shift turnover, etc. are also part of Conduct of Operations. These attributes extend or supplemental the classic elements of process safety programs. This element of process safety/RBPS is very sensitive to the prevailing process safety culture. This session invites speakers to describe the principles and features of the management systems that support Conduct of Operations, the influence of culture on the attributes of Conduct of Operations, as well as examples of programs to improve it and metrics to monitor it.

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What Should be Keeping You Up at Night but Isn’t: Things Everyone Should Know about Process Safety – focused broadly on process hazard recognition and lessons learned from careers in Process Safety                                                                                

Process hazards can go unrecognized or underappreciated for a variety of reasons. Ignorance of the hazard is a convenient excuse after an incident. This session is intended to be a preemptive strike against this ignorance. Unlike the Day PSM Hit Home, the talks in this session need not be motivated by an incident. Rather, talks should focus on the incident that hasn’t occurred, and how to recognize it. Example topic areas include: investigation and sharing of lessons learned from near misses, hazard identification, operational discipline, human reliability, process safety culture, and what lies behind the “mass of safety metrics”. Presentations of client/consultant shared case studies which could provide learning outcomes other companies could follow are encouraged to submit here.

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The Day PSM Hit Home – focused on sharing first-hand experiences that led to a personal commitment to process safety…                                                            Many process safety professionals have lived and worked through “learning experiences” that made them realize just how critical a good process safety program is. The three speakers will share how significant incidents changed their view on how they understand and apply process safety principles as a result of the experience. Prospective speakers that are willing and able to share such an experience are encouraged to submit an abstract briefly outlining the event and lessons learned.

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What I Need to Know When I Get Up in the Morning – focused on strategies and lessons to be learned when bridging the gap between “the newly qualified or new to the role” and professional expectations in the field of Process Safety.                

It is a call for four speakers to each provide a 15 min presentation then participate in a 30 min panel Q&A session based on the following premise:

“To give those new to process safety, those who seek to expand or refresh their knowledge, and experienced professionals who can stand back and reflect on their current practices an opportunity to learn about some of the current challenges Process Safety Professionals face in their daily activities”

This session will share best practices and lessons learned for mid- and late-career professionals in supervisory roles, tasked as mentors to young professionals in the field of Process Safety, while also providing benefit to those newer to the field. Additionally, engineers new to PSM are encouraged to share challenges, success stories, and their unique perspective within this panel session to provide the “new to PSM” perspective.

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What is Hiding Under the Radar? – focused on overlooked process safety and reliability issues.                                          

Protection and mitigation measures are put in place, but they may not always be implemented and maintained in a manner that assures continued availability and reliability. How do we identify and correct these issues? Potential topic areas include examples from mechanical systems (piping & other fixed or rotating equipment), administrative and procedural controls, basic process control systems and alarms, safety instrumented systems, fire protection systems, critical utilities, infrastructure, and containment systems. What does “PSM critical” or “important to PSM” mean?  Does auxiliary equipment get the attention it deserves, or are some hazards potentially not identified due to the assumption that lack of regulatory coverage means that those systems are not highly hazardous? 

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PSM Story Time – focused on the importance of using stories to relate process safety lessons, experiences and practices.                                          

Conveying the elements of managing process safety is often challenging due to the use of technical jargon and complex terms which may not always be relatable to intended recipients. To improve knowledge transfer in a form more understandable by a broader audience, a simple tool that has been used since the dawn of time can be deployed: telling a good story! 

Stories are effective in communicating complicated topics. Since childhood, many can remember stories being used to teach and instruct on life lessons. Do you remember Little Red Riding Hood? What about The Little Engine that Could? Or maybe The Ugly Duckling? There is likely a story that has impacted your life journey. The same storytelling methods can be as effective and impactful to process safety concepts! 

The objective of this session is to emphasize the importance of using stories to reinforce process safety principles and expertise. This call for abstracts invites those having a story to tell to submit a paper and presentation. Unlike other sessions, the abstracts can relate storytelling without it being directly related to a process safety event. Potential paper and presentation examples include using a children’s book to teach process safety lessons, a creative way you have told a story to simplify technical subjects, PSM-related analogies that resonate with your audience, clever stories shared with you in your process safety career, etc. 

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What’s Wrong with This Picture: Can you spy the PS hazard?

Many new engineers have the responsibility to review existing equipment, configurations, and implement changes in the field, but may lack the experience that might be necessary to identify, or “spy” if something may pose a Process Safety hazard. 

This session invites submissions that focus on identification of hazards or traps in the field. This can include strategies for successful field walkthroughs, with an emphasis on visuals.  Potential topics (non-exhaustive) may include proper installation of relief devices, discharge locations, and chemical storage or chemical loading locations and awareness best practices.

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GCPS Joint Session: Case Histories

Reviews of process safety incidents provide valuable learning opportunities.  This session invites papers to help understand the causes and lessons learned from incidents in the industry with an emphasis on events that have helped define and develop the process safety field over the years.  

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