March 2003


Inherently safer design

Implementation challenges faced by new and existing facilities

Gentile, M., Mannan, M. S., Rogers, W. J., O'Connor, T. M., Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center, Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, Texas A&M University System

Applying inherent safety design in existing hydrocarbon processing facilities is challenging. A major hurdle is simply to measure the degree of inherent safety in a way that allows alternative designs comparisons, which may or may not increase safety, or may simply redistribute risk. Also, inherent safety is an intrinsic design feature that is best implemented early in the process plant's design phase. Developing inherently safer designs are significant technical challenges that require research and development efforts that have limited economic reward. These challenges make regulating inherent safety very difficult. A c

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