External Plant Fires: What’s the Likelihood?

“A spark neglected makes a mighty fire.”  Robert Herrick During a process hazard analysis (PHA) and a layer of protection analysis (LOPA), the scenario of an external plant fire frequently arises. From our experience facilitating PHAs and LOPAs, we’ve found that a common cause for this is a pooling of flammable liquid or oil getting [...]

By | 2017-09-07T14:02:34+00:00 September 7th, 2017|Chemicals, Gas, PHA, Process Safety, Risk Assessment|0 Comments

Getting It Wrong

“Adversity does not build character, it reveals it” -James Lane Allen I have been very interested in what the press has had to say about process safety issues following Hurricane Harvey. I was also very gratified when the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) put out a warning that start-up was one the most dangerous operations [...]

By | 2017-09-07T14:15:38+00:00 September 1st, 2017|Current Events, Process Safety|0 Comments

Backward Looking Vs. Forward Looking

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”  Henry Ford Your company has had an incident or a near miss, the investigation is closed and the cause has been determined.  Now what?  In an ideal world, the goal is a return to normal operations with a lower likelihood that the incident [...]

Protection Under Pressure: Understanding HIPPS

“Everybody handles pressure differently.”  Gerry Cooney High Integrity Pressure Protection Systems (HIPPS) are a type of Safety Instrumented System (SIS) used as an alternative to or in conjunction with pressure relief systems.  HIPPS were added to the Standards as an alternative to pressure relief valves in August of 1996 after many safety professionals realized that [...]

By | 2017-08-03T15:10:00+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|Process Safety, Safety Lifecycle|1 Comment

Red Shirts: Reducing Occupancy to Reduce Risk

“Red Shirt: In Star Trek, red-uniformed security officers and engineers who accompany the main characters on landing parties who often suffer quick deaths.[”  Wikipedia I didn’t see the NBC television series, Star Trek, until it went into syndication, when it became a staple of television viewing for everyone I knew while I was in college. [...]

Incident Investigations – The Blame Game

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”  Albert Einstein In Incident Investigations: A Guide for Employers, OSHA defines an incident as “a work-related event in which an injury or ill-health (regardless of severity) or fatality occurred, or could have occurred.”  Incidents vary from large scale, such as the [...]

By | 2017-07-24T16:32:03+00:00 July 6th, 2017|Process Safety, Process Safety Management|0 Comments

Safety Lifecycle: Process Safety Information

“Great design is a multi-layered relationship between human life and its environment.” Naoto Fukasawa Generally speaking, in order to grasp a concept that is multifaceted, I’ve found that it’s easier to start big and then work my way down into the nitty gritty details. In my last post, we were exposed to a general overview [...]

By | 2017-07-24T16:31:34+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Process Safety, Safety Lifecycle|2 Comments

Defunding the CSB: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?

“Defunding the CSB is just plain stupid.”  -Mark Rosenzweig, Editor-in-Chief, Chemical Processing It has been a month since the administration announced a list of 19 independent federal agencies that it wants to completely defund in the 2018 budget.  Tucked in among the regional economic development agencies and the agencies that support the arts and humanities [...]

By | 2017-07-21T20:38:49+00:00 April 18th, 2017|Current Events, Process Safety|0 Comments

Will Trump Reverse the EPA’s Revised RMP Rules?

“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land.”  President Donald J. Trump President Trump just reversed the Obama administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Regardless of my concerns about hydrocarbon consumption, as a safety professional, I have to welcome the news, knowing as I do that pipelines are the safest way [...]

By | 2017-07-24T16:40:38+00:00 January 26th, 2017|Current Events, Process Safety|0 Comments

Voltage Breaker Maintenance: How often is often enough?

“Electricity is really just organized lightning.”  George Carlin When I think of circuit breakers, I usually think of the circuit breakers in the panel in the basement at home.  They are relatively small (120 to 240 volts, 10 to 60 amps), and they’re for fairly simple circuits.  They supply power to my lights, outlets, refrigerator, [...]

By | 2017-07-24T17:26:04+00:00 November 22nd, 2016|Process Safety, Recommendations|0 Comments