This page contains previous items from our Latest News feature.
Primatech to Exhibit at the 2016 Global Congress on Process Safety
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!
Primatech Presentation at the 2016 Global Congress on Process Safety
The following presentation will be delivered by Primatech at the upcoming 2016 Global Congress on Process Safety to be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas:
- Process Safety Incidents: Big Picture Revelations by Dr. Paul Baybutt, George R. Brown Convention Center General Assembly Theatre C, 2:20 PM Wednesday, April 13.
Plan on attending and mark your calendars. You can register for the Congress at:
Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt will be teaching a new one-day short course entitled "Apply Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking in Process Safety" at the upcoming CCPS 12th Global Congress on Process Safety in Houston, Texas
Routine thought works well for most tasks and activities and becomes habitual for many people. Unfortunately, these habits interfere with the need to think creatively in process safety. Similarly, critical thinking often is not practiced and flawed reasoning is not recognized. Indeed, it has been found that people who are not naturally good at reasoning are the most likely to overestimate their reasoning ability.
Many aspects of process safety require practitioners to think creatively about issues and to critically evaluate their own judgments and those of others. For example, process hazard analysis (PHA) methods rely on the ability of PHA teams to identify scenarios using their imagination in a brainstorming process. Also, the ability of team members to constructively critique suggestions by other team members is essential to ensuring that the best possible decisions are made. Thus, creative thinking and critical thinking are essential for PHA study teams. They are also important for other elements of process safety such as incident investigation, managing changes, and auditing. This course teaches the application of these two different but complementary types of thinking.
Click here for more details.
Registration is available through CCPS at:
Tel: +1 (800) 242-4363
Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors letter to the editor
The letter addresses the need to include process design and engineering as an element in process safety management programs.
The letter was published in the March 2016 issue of Process Safety Progress, Volume 35, Issue 1, page 115.
Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on designing risk matrices to avoid risk ranking reversal errors
The paper was published in Process Safety Progress, Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 41–46, March 2016.
Risk matrices are used in process safety to rate and rank risks of hazardous events to help with decision making on risk reduction for processes. For example, commonly they are used in process hazard analysis to rate the risks of hazard scenarios. Flaws in their theoretical framework and mathematical inconsistencies in their use have been identified in the risk analysis literature. These flaws pose potentially serious problems for the application of risk matrices in process safety. One of the most significant flaws is the potential for risk ranking reversals wherein an incorrect assignment of a higher risk event to a lower risk level and a lower risk event to a higher risk level may occur. This article discusses the nature of the problem and describes how it can be addressed for risk matrices used in process safety.
Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on design intent for HAZOP studies
The paper was published in Process Safety Progress, Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 36–40, March 2016.
The Hazard and Operability (HAZOP) Study undoubtedly is the most commonly used process hazard analysis (PHA) method in the world today. It is based on considering deviations from the design intent for a process to identify hazard and operability scenarios. Often, HAZOP Study practitioners generate deviations using a short checklist of process parameters. This practice likely results in missed scenarios. A full consideration of design intent is needed to ensure that scenarios are identified as completely as possible. This situation probably arises because of a lack of understanding of the HAZOP Study and the scope of design intent. This article describes the meaning and use of design intent to encourage HAZOP Study practitioners to address it fully during studies.
Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on PHA team member roles that may be overlooked.
The paper was published in the Loss Prevention Bulletin, Issue 247, February 2016.
The composition of process hazard analysis (PHA) study teams is critical to the successful performance of studies. Requirements for team composition have evolved over the years. However, the importance of some roles may not be recognized or can be overlooked and studies can suffer. For example, the appointment of a quality assurance manager and a devil’s advocate can improve studies significantly. Optimum requirements for operations and maintenance personnel may not be met in some studies. Participation by a control systems engineer is important, and contributions from personnel with technical expertise in various specialties not normally represented on the team can be needed from time to time. These roles and others that can be important for the success of studies are described. Issues with substitutes and replacements for team members also are discussed.
EPA Proposes Revisions to its RMP Rule
Category: Industry News
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to revise its Risk Management Program (RMP) regulations to improve chemical process safety, assist local emergency authorities in planning for and responding to accidents, and improve public awareness of chemical hazards at regulated sources.
Proposing revisions to EPA’s RMP regulations is a key action item under President Obama’s Executive Order (EO) 13650, Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security.
This proposal is the result of a review undertaken to modernize the existing EPA RMP regulations and information gathered from feedback obtained during listening sessions, webinars, meetings with stakeholder groups, stakeholder conferences, and public comments in response to EPA’s Request for Information.
The proposed amendments are intended to improve existing risk management plan requirements to enhance chemical safety at RMP facilities by:
- Requiring the consideration of safer technologies and alternatives by including the assessment of Inherently Safer Technologies and Designs in the Process Hazard Assessment.
- Requiring third party audits and root cause analysis to identify process safety improvements for accident prevention.
- Enhancing emergency planning and preparedness requirements to help ensure coordination between facilities and local communities.
- Strengthening emergency response planning to help ensure emergency response capabilities are available to mitigate the effect of a chemical accident.
- Improving the ability of LEPCs (Local Emergency Planning Committees) and local emergency response officials to better prepare for emergencies both individually and with one another.
- Improving access to information to help the public understand the risks at RMP facilities.
The public will have 60 days from publication in the Federal Register to submit written comments online at www.regulations.gov (the portal for federal rulemaking) or by mail.
For more information about the proposed rule:
Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on calibration of risk matrices for process safety
Category: Primatech News
The paper was published in the Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Vol. 38, pages 163-168, November, 2015.
Risk matrices are used to rate and rank risks of hazardous events for processes. They provide for the lookup of the risk level for an event using its severity and likelihood levels which are estimated subjectively. Risk levels are associated with requirements for risk reduction to achieve tolerable risk. Often, risk matrices are defined using numerical values for event severity and likelihood levels. Therefore, the resulting risk levels denote numerical values of risk. Consequently, such risk matrices must be calibrated with reference to appropriate numerical risk tolerance criteria, or process safety target levels, to define appropriate risk reduction requirements. Calibration poses several pitfalls for the unwary. Many practitioners are unaware of these pitfalls and use risk matrices that are calibrated improperly producing incorrect risk reduction requirements. This paper describes how these pitfalls can be avoided and provides calibration procedures. Use of these procedures will help to avoid incorrect decisions on risk reduction for processes.
Primatech's Dr. Paul Baybutt authors paper on the treatment of domino effects in PHA
Category: Primatech News
The paper was published in Process Safety Progress, Volume 34, Issue 3, pages 220–227, September 2015.
Domino effects produce hazard scenarios that involve escalating consequences as a chain of linked events propagates throughout and beyond the process where they originate. Such scenarios have been the subject of accident survey studies and quantitative risk analyses but their identification in process hazard analysis (PHA) has received less attention. This article discusses the nature and types of domino effects and a procedure is provided to address them in PHA. The role of separate domino effects studies is described, insights into domino effects that can assist PHA practitioners are provided, and some pitfalls in addressing domino effects are identified. The identification of domino effects in PHA is illustrated using an actual accident that occurred in a refinery.