25th Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS) | AIChE

25th Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS)

The Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS) is one of five parallel sessions that comprise the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS).  The PPSS conference's focus is to provide proven best practices, perspectives, methods, and tools that can be readily practiced and provide value to personnel...

The Process Plant Safety Symposium (PPSS) is one of five parallel sessions that comprise the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS).  The PPSS conference's focus is to provide proven best practices, perspectives, methods, and tools that can be readily practiced and provide value to personnel at the plant level. 


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

PPSS Chair and Vice Chair

Session Topic Descriptions:

Data Success Stories 

The use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) provides leading and lagging indicators for improving process safety metrics in the plants. Data historian information is valuable for KPIs which provide insight into plant's operational performance which can be used for process safety improvements.  In the age of big data, this session invites case studies from different organizations to understand how plants have used data to achieve process safety improvements.

Back to Top

Determining and Documenting SOLs and CODs

It is standard practice to document safe operating limits (SOLs) and consequences of deviation (CODs), but there is very little guidance on how these should be defined or where best to document this information. Are they easily accessible and useful while simultaneously meeting the regulatory requirements and avoiding redundant documentation? This session is seeking papers outlining best practices in managing, verifying, and documenting  SOLs/CODs to ensure they meet original process safety times.  

Back to Top

Predictive Maintenance 

An important process for ensuring asset integrity is predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance can limit process risks and unwanted downtime which could result in reducing unplanned start-ups/shutdowns, improving productivity, and increasing asset availability. This session will describe examples and successful projects that drive process safety through improving predictive maintenance effectiveness.  

Back to Top

Plant Process Safety and Cyber Impacts – Cybersecurity and Beyond 

With the increasing use of cyber technology to manage processes such as inclusion of artificial intelligence and the use of robotic devices for plant maintenance and inspections, there is a possibility for diminished human supervision. This could introduce new process safety challenges in managing plant processes as well as addressing security requirements in industrial standards for ensuring a secure operational environment. This session is seeking papers related to these challenges and solutions in the plant setting.

Back to Top

Focused Risk Analysis Approaches and Techniques in Support of LOPA

There are many scenarios and situations for which Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA) may not apply as a suitable methodology or may be difficult to use. It may actually be easier, better, and more direct to use other approaches and techniques, including focused Quantitative Risk Analysis, Fault Tree Analysis, Human Reliability Analysis, Event Tree Analysis, and others. This session will focus on the effective use of risk analysis tools as an alternative or supplement to LOPA for scenarios identified for further evaluation in Process Hazard Analysis (PHAs).

Back to Top

The Changing Face of PSM

The practice of Process Safety Management (PSM) compliance in the plant has changed over the last 30+ years, since the introduction of the OSHA PSM regulations. There is only one set of P&IDs, and one set of operating procedures, etc., but somehow these tools have to satisfy a broader set of requirements: process safety, security, Environmental Social Governance (ESG) concerns, foreign export controls, etc. This session invites papers offering practical approaches to dealing with PSM, given that the requirements are constantly changing.  

Back to Top

Validation of Safeguards in PHAs  

When we account for safeguards in Process Hazard Analyses (PHAs), often the validation process for different safeguards has varied requirements. Safeguards could be diverse - such as relief devices and safety instrumented systems, administrative controls, basic process control systems, captive key, and so on. It is important to ensure Independent Protection Layers (IPLs) are effective, independent and available upon demand. Therefore IPL validation is of utmost importance for effective risk reduction. This session invites papers which offer best practices on safeguard validation, sharing of efficient methods and those that do not add value.

Back to Top

Beyond Administrative Controls - Effective Safety Strategies for Manual Operations 

Certain hazardous chemical operations such as loading/unloading processes, regeneration/drying operations, and batch operations require intensive manual intervention as part of the normal operation. For such hazardous activities, typically administrative controls are utilized. The session welcomes papers which discuss safeguards beyond administrative controls including other safety strategies that can be effective for hazardous manual operational activities.

Back to Top

Which Comes First?  Operational Excellence or Process Safety Excellence? 

ESG issues are increasingly shaping the way companies do business around the globe.  Criteria around emergency response, process safety metrics, transportation metrics, etc. frequently make their way into ESG reports and dashboards.  This session will discuss the connection between process safety and corporate ESG metrics.

Back to Top

Developing Process Safety Influencers  

There are leaders up and down the organization from operator, frontline supervisor, technical manager, plant manager and corporate manager.  The process safety competency of individuals that are natural leaders or in leadership roles significantly impacts the culture, perception of risk and conduct of operations.  This session welcomes papers that present methods or techniques in use to onboard personnel and/or build competency in these “Process Safety Influencers”, so they can positively lead and engage associates.

Back to Top

Success in Lowering Tier 1 & 2 Incident Rates 

With "drive to zero" initiatives increasing at the plant level, investigating Tier 1 and Tier 2 incidents leads to understanding gaps, identifying key lessons learned and implementing corrective actions. This session welcomes papers which can outline best practices and measures undertaken at the site level to lower T1/T2 incident rates. 

Back to Top

Improving PHA Leadership and Study Outcomes                        

Audits and reviews often identify poor quality Process Hazard Analyses (PHAs).  Companies may send potential PHA leaders to a training course for a few days, and then expect them to be experts in PHA methodologies, facilitate teams effectively, and produce high quality PHAs “out of the gate.” Industry can do much better in identifying and training PHA leaders/facilitators and developing reviews and practices to improve both leadership and study outcomes.  Improvements may be achieved through follow-up training, peer reviews, mentoring, and other approaches. This session will explore innovative and successful approaches for developing more effective PHA leaders and ensuring consistent high quality PHA outcomes.

Back to Top

CCPS 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.  

Back to Top