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This page contains previous items from our Latest News feature.

Chemical Safety Board Deploying to Site of Chemical Release in Atchison, Kansas

Publish Date: 2016-10-26
Category: Industry News

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has deployed an investigative team to the scene of a chemical release in Atchison, Kansas that led to a shelter-in-place order for thousands of residents and at least 85 members of the public seeking medical attention.

The release occurred October 21, 2016 near an onsite wastewater treatment plant owned and operated by MGP Ingredients. MGP produces distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches.

Resources
Read the CSB News Release.

U.S. Chemical Safety Board Releases Final Case Study on Williams Olefins Plant Explosion and Fire

Publish Date: 2016-10-21
Category: Industry News

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has released its final report on the 2013 explosion and fire at the Williams Olefins Plant in Geismar, LA that killed 2 people and injured 167 people, the majority of whom were contractors.

The CSB determined that process safety management deficiencies during the 12 years leading up to the incident allowed a reboiler heat exchanger to rupture because it was unprotected from overpressure.

The CSB report found that a poor process safety culture at the facility resulted in weaknesses in implementing:

  • Management of Change (MOC)
  • Pre-Startup Safety Review (PSSR)
  • Process Hazard Analysis (PHA)
  • Procedure Programs

The CSB noted these important safety lessons:

  • Using the hierarchy of controls to evaluate and select safeguards
  • Establishing a strong process safety culture
  • Developing robust process safety management programs
  • Ensuring continual vigilance in implementing process safety management programs

Also included in the report are recommendations to the American Petroleum Institute (API) to address gaps the CSB identified in API Standard 521, Pressure-relieving and Depressuring Systems.

Resources

Read the CSB News Release.
Read the full CSB Report.
See CSB news items related to the Williams Olefins Plant Explosion and Fire.

Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on insights into process safety incidents from an analysis of CSB investigations.

Publish Date: 2016-09-30
Category: Primatech News

The paper was published in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Volume 43, pages 537–548, September, 2016.

Abstract

Many incidents have helped to define and develop process safety. Each has provided valuable learning opportunities. However, it is even more important to identify insights that can be obtained from an analysis of a large set of incidents that represents those that typically occur. This larger picture illuminates trends and commonalities and provides learning opportunities that are even more important than the causes of any one individual incident.

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) has published the results of over 60 investigations of process safety incidents. These data have been analyzed to identify commonalities and trends so that measures to help protect against future incidents can be developed. Recommendations are made to address key issues identified.

The article can be accessed for free on ScienceDirect until November 1, 2016 by clicking on the link below. No sign up or registration is needed.

http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1TiPZ3O6UQHUJC

Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on cognitive biases in process hazard analysis.

Publish Date: 2016-09-30
Category: Primatech News

The paper was published in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Volume 43, pages 372-377, September, 2016.

Abstract

Many decisions are made by process hazard analysis (PHA) teams in identifying hazard scenarios and determining if there is a need to reduce the risk of catastrophic accidents. Observations of PHA teams conducting studies indicated that such decisions are not always made rationally.

Cognitive psychologists have studied how people make decisions and the conditions under which those decisions may be unreliable. It has been shown that various cognitive biases influence decisions by people and can hinder rationality. This body of knowledge was researched and correlated with observations of decision making by PHA teams during the performance of studies to explain and understand why PHA teams may make erroneous decisions. The application of cognitive psychology to decision making in PHA has not been addressed previously.

PHA facilitators must understand the impact of cognitive biases on PHA studies because they can seriously impact the quality of study results. Hazard scenarios may be missed, risks estimated incorrectly, and important recommendations for risk reduction omitted. This paper discusses cognitive biases that have been observed during the performance of PHA studies, gives examples of their effects, and provides guidelines to minimize their adverse impacts.

The article can be accessed for free on ScienceDirect until November 1, 2016 by clicking on the link below. No sign up or registration is needed.

http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1TiPZ_Ld32e9RN

Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on implementing a competency management system for process safety

Publish Date: 2016-07-19
Category: Primatech News

The paper was published in Hydrocarbon Processing, Volume 95, Number 7, pages 77 - 79, July 2016.

Abstract

Managing the competency of company personnel is a critical aspect of process safety. Numerous catastrophic accidents have been attributed to a lack of competency. Learn how to establish a competency management system to help ensure your company’s safety-critical activities are performed to an appropriate standard.

New Edition of API RP 754

Publish Date: 2016-06-23
Category: Industry News

The American Petroleum Institute has released the second edition of Process Safety Performance Indicators for the Refining and Petrochemical Industries.

OSHA Revises Interpretation Letter on RAGAGEP

Publish Date: 2016-06-23
Category: Industry News

On May 11, 2016, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) published a memorandum titled, RAGAGEP in Process Safety Management Enforcement, that addresses the requirements for recognized and generally accepted good engineering practices (RAGAGEP) in the Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard. It rescinds and replaces the memorandum of the same title dated June 5, 2015. It is intended to be a clarification of the policy described in the earlier memorandum and does not reflect any substantive change in OSHA enforcement policy.

The memorandum is available at:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=30785

Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on setting multinational risk tolerance criteria

Publish Date: 2016-06-02
Category: Primatech News

The paper was published in Process Safety Progress, Volume 35, Issue 2, pages 153 - 158, June 2016.

Abstract

Companies that operate in multiple locations around the world face the challenge of developing consistent risk tolerance criteria across their operations in various locations. However, the views of local stakeholders on the tolerability of the risks can vary significantly from one location to another. Indeed, the actual risks that people are exposed to and currently tolerate can vary significantly depending on local factors. The challenges in developing consistent criteria for such multiple locations are described and addressed in this paper. Regulators in several countries have developed numerical risk tolerance criteria and require that facilities meet them. The procedures used in the development of such criteria are described and form the basis for a method that is suggested for setting consistent criteria across national boundaries.

Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on the meaning and importance of process safety competency

Publish Date: 2016-06-02
Category: Primatech News

The paper was published in Process Safety Progress, Volume 35, Issue 2, pages 171–175, June 2016.

Abstract

Process safety competency is subject to regulation in some jurisdictions, such as in the United Kingdom by the Health and Safety Executive (UK HSE) under the Control of Major Accident Hazard (COMAH) regulations. Process safety competency is one of 20 elements in the risk-based process safety (RBPS) management system developed by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS). However, competency as used in this RBPS element is not the same as the competency regulated by the UK HSE. The RBPS competency element addresses managing a knowledge base of process information and not competency as defined by other CCPS publications which use the term with a similar meaning to the UK HSE. This makes for a confusing situation for companies interested in improving their management of process safety competency. The scope of the RBPS element should be revised to address true competency.

Currently, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Process Safety Management (PSM) Standard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Risk Management Program (RMP) rule do not address competency. However, both regulators are considering revisions to these regulations, including the incorporation of additional elements from the CCPS RBPS management system that are not currently in the regulations. One of these elements is process safety competency, as defined in the CCPS RBPS management system. This action would result in an inadequate treatment of competency. If a competency element is incorporated into the regulations, it should address true competency.

Primatech to Exhibit at the 2016 Global Congress on Process Safety

Publish Date: 2016-03-10
Category: Primatech News

Primatech will be exhibiting at the 12th Global Congress on Process Safety on April 10-13, 2016 in Houston, Texas.

Representing Primatech at this year's conference will be Andrew Chapman, Shawn Metzler, and Steven Baybutt. They will be available to discuss how Primatech's consulting, training, and software can assist in meeting your organization's process safety objectives.

Be sure to drop off your business card at Primatech's booth for a chance to win an Apple Watch!

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