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This page contains previous items from our Latest News feature.

Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors article on the need for creative thinking in process safety

Publish Date: 2017-04-13
Category: Primatech News

The article was published in Chemical and Engineering Progress, pages 56 - 60, Vol. 113, No. 4, April, 2017.


Creative thinking is needed when addressing many process safety elements. It is essential in process hazard analysis studies where people brainstorm what can go wrong. Also, it is important for other elements such as incident investigation, procedure writing, management of change reviews, and developing emergency response plans.

Formal education usually discourages creative thinking and most people don’t need to be creative for much of what they do in daily life. Consequently, the ability to think creatively is not common. However, creative thinking is a skill that can be learnt and guidance can be provided for ways in which creative thinking can be approached by anyone when the need arises. This article provides guidelines for creative thinking that can be used to address the challenges of process safety.

Environmentalists act in support of EPA RMP rule amendments

Publish Date: 2017-04-13
Category: Industry News

The Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club and Earthjustice plan to jointly file a motion to intervene in a lawsuit filed by industry organizations in March that asks the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to delay or reconsider amendments to the Risk Management Program (RMP) rule. The industry organizations include the American Chemistry Council, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, and the American Petroleum Institute.

Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on overcoming challenges in using LOPA to determine SILs

Publish Date: 2017-04-10
Category: Primatech News

The paper was published in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Volume 48, pages 32 – 40, July 2017.


The international standard on safety instrumented systems (SISs), IEC 61511 / ISA 84, requires the determination of safety integrity levels (SILs) for safety instrumented functions (SIFs) in SISs. Arguably, this is the most important requirement in the standard. Various methods are used for SIL determination including risk matrices and risk graphs, although layers of protection analysis (LOPA) is used increasingly. In employing these methods, a determination must be made as to whether existing risk levels for a process are tolerable by comparing risk estimates with risk tolerance criteria. If a risk gap is found, the SIL required to close the gap is specified. This determination requires setting risk tolerance criteria and making risk estimates.

LOPA is used to calculate the risk of individual hazard scenarios. Consequently, in order to simplify the determination of SILs using LOPA, overall risk tolerance criteria often are allocated to individual hazard scenarios so that risk estimates for scenarios can be compared with the allocated criteria. Sometimes hazardous events are used and the risks of scenarios that involve the same hazardous event are aggregated. Unfortunately, allocation of facility risk tolerance criteria to scenarios or events is fraught with difficulties and use of LOPA with allocated risk tolerance criteria can produce inaccurate results within a facility and inconsistent results across facilities.

A procedure is provided in this paper for SIL determination using LOPA in which facility risk tolerance criteria are used meaningfully and justifiably. The procedure entails the calculation of overall facility risk and an examination of contributions to the risks to individuals and groups of people from sources of risk such as different types of hazards, different modes of process operation, and different units and processes. The procedure is illustrated with an example.

The article can be accessed for free on ScienceDirect until May 28, 2017 by clicking on the link below. No sign up or registration is needed.


New OSHA Publications on PSM

Publish Date: 2017-04-04
Category: Industry News

OSHA has released three guidance documents to help employers comply with the Process Safety Management standard (PSM). The new documents are:

  • OSHA 3908, PSM for Small Businesses
  • OSHA 3909, PSM for Storage Facilities
  • OSHA 3912, PSM for Explosives and Pyrotechnics Manufacturing

They are available at:


Budget Proposal to Eliminate the CSB

Publish Date: 2017-03-17
Category: Industry News

The President’s FY 2018 budget proposes eliminating funding for the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) along with a number of other independent government agencies.

Click here to see a statement from the CSB's Chairperson, Vanessa Sutherland.

EPA Delays Again the Effective Date of the RMP Rule Amendments

Publish Date: 2017-03-15
Category: Industry News

On March 13, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator signed an administrative stay to delay the effective date of the Risk Management Program (RMP) rule amendments until June 19, 2017.

The 90-day extension is intended to provide time for EPA to consider whether to further extend the effective date of the rule through a rulemaking action while the Agency reconsiders the rule in response to a petition the agency received on February 28, 2017 from the RMP Coalition, representing several trade associations. The petition requested a reconsideration and a stay of the RMP rule amendments, published on January 13, 2017.

For further information, see:

Final Amendments to the Risk Management Program (RMP) Rule

Primatech publishes white paper on the second edition of the HAZOP Application Guide, IEC 61882

Publish Date: 2017-03-08
Category: Primatech News

Primatech has compared the first and second editions of IEC 61882 published in 2001 and 2016, respectively, and prepared a white paper that describes notable differences.

The white paper can be downloaded for free at:

Comparison of First and Second Editions of HAZOP Application Guide, IEC 61882: A Process Safety Perspective

Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on simultaneous operations (SIMOPS) review

Publish Date: 2017-03-03
Category: Primatech News

The paper was published in Process Safety Progress, Volume 36, Issue 1, pages 62–66, March 2017.


Simultaneous operations occur within process facilities when two or more activities occur at the same time and place. They may involve risks that are not identified when each activity is considered by itself. A SIMOP review identifies possible interactions between activities that may adversely impact people, property, or the environment. SIMOP reviews are an important adjunct to the performance of process hazard analyses such as hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies.

A number of major process industry accidents have involved simultaneous operations. Several examples are described. A procedure for conducting a SIMOP review and an example are provided. The development of a plan to address the performance of simultaneous operations using the results of SIMOP reviews is discussed and plan contents are identified.

Primatech to Exhibit at the 2017 Global Congress on Process Safety

Publish Date: 2017-02-21
Category: Primatech News

Primatech will be exhibiting at the 13th Global Congress on Process Safety on March 26-29, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.

Representing Primatech at this year's conference will be Steven Baybutt, Shawn Metzler, and Robert Reardon. 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 a Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth Wireless Speaker!

CSB Deploying to Site of Explosion in DeRidder, Louisiana

Publish Date: 2017-02-10
Category: Industry News

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) is deploying an investigative team to the scene of an explosion in DeRidder, Louisiana that killed three workers and reportedly injured seven. The explosion occurred February 8, 2017 at the Packaging Corporation of America plant while contractors were performing welding on a tank during a facility shutdown.