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Module 1:

An Introduction to Process Safety

Unit 1: Process Safety Risk
• Define Process Safety and how it is different from workplace
safety and industrial hygiene
• Describe the impact of process safety incidents
• Give examples of impact of incidents on improving process
• Define key terms related to process safety
• Describe how process safety risks can be managed
What is Process Safety
• A disciplined framework for managing the integrity of
operating systems and processes handling hazardous
substances by applying good design principles, engineering,
and operating practices
• Process safety focus on the prevention and control of
incidents that have the potential to release hazardous
material or energy
Why is Process Safety Important?
• What do think was
the feeling of this
person at the
moment when the
incident occurred?
• What would be
going through your
mind if you were
this person

Image Source: CSB Case Study: Williams Geismar Olefins

Plant Reboiler Rupture and Fire, Geismar, LA, June 13, 2013
“Incident” Defined
• This process incident
happened because the heat
exchanger built up too
much pressure inside and
exploded. There were two
• The center for Chemical
Process Safety (CCPS)
defines the term “incident”
Incident Example: T2 Laboratories, Inc.
Jacksonville, FL, December 19, 2007

Before After
Why Do We Study Process Safety?
Process Safety incidents have

• Serious injuries and


• Property damage;
Lost Production Property damage
• Lost production; and

• Environment impact.

In the T2 laboratory
incident, four people lost
their lives and there were
multiple injuries, and the
chemical plant was destroyed Environmental impact Serious injuries and fatalities
Chemical Processes Can Be Hazardous
Chemical processes can be
hazardous because of the

• They contain toxic,

flammable, explosive,
corrosive, and chemically
reactive materials
Toxic Flammable
• The hazardous properties
of these chemicals may not
be understood; and

• The process might not be

designed, operated,
maintained, and/or
managed properly to
address the risk Explosive
Reactive Corrosive
In spite of the hazard that may present, one should keep in mind that all incidents are preventable.
Our Roles and Tools!
By understanding
process safety
principles, you may
save lives
To be able to do that,
and to prevent
incidents to occur,
you need to
understand how to
safely design,
operate, maintain
and manage
chemical processes
Workplace Safety, Industrial Hygiene and
Process Safety
Process Safety

They overlap in many

ways, but there are some
differences between them

Industrial Hygiene Workplace Safety

Workplace Safety
Workplace Safety

A multidisciplinary field concerned with the

safety, health and welfare of people at work,
focusing on hazardous conditions that can
harm people as their perform their tasks and

Differences between workplace (personal)

safety and process safety
• Workplace safety incidents happens more
frequently than process safety incidents
• Workplace safety incidence usually involves 1-2
people compared to process safety incidents that
could involve multiple fatalities or injuries

Personal protective equipment (PPE) are used to

enhance workplace safety
Workplace Safety Protection and Isolation
In industry, safe
workplaces are designed
to protect personal form
fall or electrical hazards.
They are also prevented
Fall protection Protection from electrical hazards
from performing work
that could lead to
hazardous condition for
others such as slippery
walking surfaces

Isolation tag Electrical equipment isolation

Workplace safety experts design process condition to ensure

• Proper fall protection for people working at elevated heights
• Isolation of electrical equipment to ensure proper functioning and unexpected startup at maintenance periods
Industrial Hygiene
Industrial Hygiene

It is a science that is
concerned for
enhancing the safety of
people at work from
hazards present in the
workplace environment
such as dust, noise,
heat or chemicals

Industrial Hygienists role are to

• Anticipate hazards
• Recognize where and when hazards might occur and happen
• Evaluate the magnitude and frequency of chemical release or noise or dust
• Control hazards in working with other engineers
Industrial Hygiene Examples
Airborne chemical hazards are measured
and monitored

Noise levels are measured and monitored

Ergonomic programs to ensure that tasks

and equipment are safely designed and
Process Safety

Process safety focuses on the

safety and management of
hazardous materials and
It focuses on the prevention
and control of incidents
that have the potential to
release hazardous materials
or energies
Chemical Engineers and Process Safety
The intent of chemical engineers is to
prevent these incidents from happening and
only understanding of process safety and
application can prevent incidences like this

The chemical engineer must understand

• Basic science of physics and chemistry
• Know how to apply basic science to
engineering design, analysis, and
control of processes
Understanding Process Chemistry and Physics
Process safety requires an
understanding of chemical
processes, including
chemistry, mass and energy
flow, unit operations, and
process operation and
In this catalytic reforming
process in a refinery, feed
materials including naphtha,
are reacted in catalytic
reactors, producing hydrogen,
off-gases, and reformate for
gasoline blending
Comparing Process Safety and Workplace Safety
and Industrial Hygiene
Process Safety Workplace Safety/Industrial Hygiene

• Hazards of materials (flammability, explosivity,

reactivity, toxicity)
• Incidents might effect 1-2 people
• Hazards resulting from process conditions (high
temperature and pressure conditions) • It concern the safety of individual through
personal protection and by creating a safe
prevention workplace environment
• Incidents can impact many people, damage
properties and adversely effect the environment

• Process safety focuses on the prevention of

unintentional release that could lead in
Process Safety applies to many small and large

Agriculture Industry On-Shore Oil and Gas Industry Pharmaceutical Industry

University Laboratory Food Processing Industry Off –Shore oil and gas operations
Review-Workplace Safety and Industrial
Hygiene vs. Process Safety
Workplace Industrial Process
Safety Hygiene Safety

A technician assigned to the new area of

the plant knows to wear hearing
protection due to the established noise
monitoring program
A member of the process unit design
team propose a way to reduce the impact
of a toxic gas release

An electrician avoids having someone

turning on power to a motor while he is
working on the motor by having aa lock
and warning tag on the switch
Impact of Process Safety Incidents on People
Impact of Process Safety Incidents on People
Impact of Process Safety Incidents on
Preventive Goal of Process Safety

The major results of process safety incidents

– Injuries and fatalities
– Environmental harm, that are sometimes
– Impact on the community or the society
– Interruption and loss of business
– Loss of market share of business
– Loss of business reputation and name
– Shut-down of business