The war in Ukraine and the anniversary of Chernobyl bring to light lessons learned from the past and unfortunate worries of today.

Process safety is impacted by automation, robotics, devices and solutions. Whether the impact is positive or negative remains in the hands of humans who implement the technology.

 

What went wrong at the Piper Alpha oil rig has taught us a lot about permit-to-work systems. They are in place to ensure control of the ownership and activities of a particular piece of equipment -- it’s about keeping people safe and also understanding the status of your plant.

Good process safety means good reliability …  good reliability means good productivity … good productivity is what makes us money. Sometimes you have to talk about the bottom line in order to get buy-in for process-safety initiatives.

A review of 2021’s process-safety incidents points out that there's nothing new in any of these events; there's no new technology pathway, there's no new chemical reaction or law of chemistry or physics. That means these are all preventable incidents. What are you doing at your facilities to understand these hazards?

If you're relying on humans getting it right every time, you're going to have an incident. The key is making sure your systems are more resilient to humans making a mistake

 

The chemical industry has been doing risk assessment the same way for quite some time. This new method focuses on subtle changes, which can lead to degradation of design safeguards.

IChemE’s Trish Kerin ponders that $64,000 question as she and Traci Purdum look back at lessons learned from the Montara oil field incident in 2009. 

Was the Seveso accident, which released dioxin in the air and was named by Time magazine as one of the top manmade environmental disasters, a black swan event? Not likely, according to Trish Kerin, director of the IChemE Safety Centre. On the 45th anniversary of this catastrophic event, we take a look at lessons learned.

A money-grab hack prompted executive orders to get cybersecurity under control at firms supplying the government. Private companies will have to comply even if they aren’t the primary contractor. 

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