Abstracts Submitted for Hazards 29 Consideration

hazards 29

1. Process Safety: Keeping the Peace in a post war Age

Tools and Techniques to keep Process Incidents at bay in a stable, low frequency scenario.

The war on Process Incidents has been raging for 200 years. As processing facilities evolved, the hazards they contained mutated, becoming bigger, more toxic and more energetic. As the hazards advanced, we improved designs, developed more robust barriers and reshaped culture. By first decade of the 21st century, the hazards appeared to have been subdued – as far as reasonably practicably. So, if, finally the war has been won, how can we now best keep the peace?

This paper briefly describes the history of the long war against Process Incidents, examine whether any of the Peacekeeping Scenarios set out in Page Fortna’s book Does Peacekeeping Work:

  • Observation
  • Inter-positional
  • Multidimensional
  • Peace enforcement

could be applied to the ongoing constraining of Process Incidents, determines where some iconic Process Safety Incidents lie within Dave Snowden’s Cynefin Framework, describes several tools and techniques which could aid the ongoing Peacekeeping effort, including:

  • Vigilance Engendering: Positive Stakeholder Stimulation
  • Increased Automation: A double edged sword?
  • Knowing the Enemy: Effective monitoring of hazards as they transform


2. Recent Adoption and Integration of HAZOP in a High Hazard Operation 

At the start of 2016, Eley, the world’s premier manufacturer of sports bullets, received a visit from an HSE inspector, who quizzed them on the manufacturing process for their explosive tetrazene. Among his enquiries, he asked about credible deviations and was unsatisfied with the responses. He advised them to undertake a HAZOP of their process before he returned later in the year.

Accordingly, they looked for a HAZOP course and subsequently enrolled on one the author was presenting on behalf of the IChemE in March 2016. At the end of the course, we agreed that the author would set up and facilitate an initial HAZOP for them, which they would use as a template for the rest of their facility.

Fast forward to 2018. Eley have completed all the HAZOPs for their chemical manufacturing process. They have developed a program to cyclically revisit the program.

This paper will present the journey that Eley made from HAZOP awareness and adoption to incorporation. It will describe the impact it has made on the companies safety, culture and productivity. It will outline some of the mistakes made and learnings garnered during the journey and will present a vision for leveraging HAZOP in a mature, high hazard operating facility.


3.  Process Safety 2025 - How can we get there Process Safely?

Since it’s inception, Process Safety has followed a dynamic trajectory: evolving with technology, disrupting in response to incidents, to arrive in the 2nd decade of the 21st cent3. ury in pretty good shape. On a rolling average basis, the number and impact of Process Safety Incidents have been steadily declining over the past few decades.

However, the rate of change of applied technology is rapid and probably accelerating. In order to prolong the improvement trend, the clearer our vision of the near future of Material Processing and Transformation, the better able we will be to boldly stride towards it.

There is much to look forward to in the industrial near future, but it will not be without risk – unless we decide to abandon manufacturing altogether.

Some of the key themes will be:

  • Ever increasing automation – hardware and software
  • Changing nature of threats – cybersecurity, man/machine interface, new processes/new threats (e.g. Additive Manufacturing – direct metal laser sintering, Nanotechnology)
  • What won’t change and why – including the ongoing need for curious, creative, communicative and empathic professionals
  • Remodelling PHAs for the near future – leveraging advances in AI without relying on them
  • Learning from industries already inhabiting in our near future trajectory (Aviation?, Semi-conductors? Etc)
  • Impact of Industry 5.0 – the internet of things; personalised manufacturing; man/machine interaction; industrial upcycling
  • Novel Techniques to support manufacturing – Cloud Computing; Next Level Robotics; Augmented Reality

This paper will explore these key themes, examining both challenges and opportunities. It will present examples of current research and practice to give an insight as to how we can get to 2025 Process Safely.


4. Check Lists: The Low Hanging Fruit of Process Safety

One of the remaining ‘low hanging fruit’ in the realm of Process Safety is the rigorous application of appropriate checklists. In his book, ‘The Checklist Manifesto’ Atul Gawande argues that the preparation and adherence to Hazardous activity checklists is a low cost, low effort route to reducing incidents. Working in the Health sector, he discovered numerous examples of checklist success, including the prevention of 8 deaths and 42 infections over 27 months by the adoption of a 5 point checklist in the Intensive Care Unit of a prestigious American Hospital.

Closer to home, there are powerful examples of the use of checklists in aviation and high rise construction. This paper will explore how we can apply this principle to High Hazard Process Plants by:

  • Examining the historical relationship between checklists, Process Safety incidents and their prevention.
  • Demonstrating a correlation and postulate causation between appropriate use of checklists and a reduction in PS outages.
  • Describing best practice in the use of Process Safety checklists.
  • Reviewing the evolution of checklists in related industries to determine which elements may be transferable.
  • Contrasting and comparing current checklist tools.

 low hanging fruit

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