November 2007

Special Report: Plant Safety and Environment

Updates on process safety systems

Safety programs involve both protection systems and organization culture

Nair, M. P. Sukumaran, Special Secretary to Government of Kerala, and Chairman, Chemical Engineering Division Board of the Institution of Engineers

A single failure incident can cause loss of life and extensive property damage, and render institutions bankrupt. Process safety management (PSM) has developed into a highly developed engineering discipline with extensively codified design, operation and maintenance practices. Industry operators use PSM tools to predict and assess potential hazardous situations. Safety lessons learned. Petrochemical/chemical process plant safety and accident investigations have attained major strides in the last 30 years. Inquiry reports on catastrophic process plant accidents such as Flixborough, Piper Alpha, Bhopal and Chernobyl revealed key areas where strengthening was needed to prevent major accident

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