Major incidents at chemical facilities have brought about changes in the way chemical engineers practice their craft, and have been the impetus for creating various regulations. Several of these events are reviewed in the March AIChE Journal Perspective article, “Safety Awareness: A Chemical Engineering Imperative,” by Robert Davidson, the 2017 recipient of the AIChE Industrial Research and Development Award.
In the article, Davidson discusses the work of Trevor Kletz and Rachel Carson, two pioneers of chemical process and ecological safety, and introduces readers to recent academic work on systems approaches to process safety. The article also presents an overview of safety topics as an introduction for engineering students; this overview reminds experienced professionals of the breadth of considerations that affect safety, the need for constant vigilance to prevent incidents, and the need for research into effective methods to improve process safety.
Chemical engineers need to be aware of the many related aspects that go into creating a safe system. Personal, or occupational, safety strives to protect individuals, while process safety aims to prevent incidents that can harm large numbers of people and the environment....
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