Loss Prevention and Safety Promotion in the Process Industries

Loss Prevention and Safety Promotion in the Process Industries

Process Safety and Environmental Protection 9 2 ( 2 0 1 4 ) 277–279 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Process Safety and Environmental Prote...

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Process Safety and Environmental Protection 9 2 ( 2 0 1 4 ) 277–279

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

Process Safety and Environmental Protection journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/psep

Editorial

Loss Prevention and Safety Promotion in the Process Industries

1.

Introduction

Founded in 1953, the European Federation of Chemical Engineering (EFCE) currently comprises 39 member societies in 30 European countries. As for its mission statement, EFCE helps European societies to meet their needs through highlighting the role of Chemical Engineering in delivering sustainable processes and products. In this context, it must be underlined the remarkable and unique role of safety promotion, risk prevention and environmental protection as the most suitable strategy to achieve a well balanced technological and social development for present and future communities all over the world. The EFCE Working Party on Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, represented by 16 nations, was founded in the early seventies in response to the large-scale accidents that occurred in the chemical industry in the sixties. This issue of the Process Safety and Environmental Protection contains a selection of outstanding papers from the International Symposium on Loss Prevention and Safety Promotion in the Process Industries held in Florence during May 2013. This was the 14th conference in a successful series started in 1971 and was organised by the Italian Association of Chemical Engineering, AIDIC, on behalf of the EFCE Working Party on Loss Prevention in the Process Industries. The papers have been amply extended and thoroughly reviewed in accordance with the journal’s usual procedure. We are increasingly confronted with more and more complex plants and processes, while the business environment is becoming more dynamic and competitive. Against this backdrop, the integration of safety procedures and the capture of knowledge places great demands on all those involved with process operations and new approaches are required. The adagium to go for inherent safer design, as it has been first called for by Professor Trevor Kletz (1999), has resulted in projects but their application is lacking, still remaining more a common sense than a common practice. On reading accident investigation reports from recent times, with causes connected to human error, a failure to learn from past incidents and breakdown of process safety systems, it is easy to conclude that the fundamental principles of the safe design of plants and processes were readily available – but all too frequently forgotten or disregarded. Readers will therefore not be surprised to discover that the 11 papers in this special issue focus strongly on risk management, human factors and safety management systems. As shown in Table 1,

the topics addressed by the articles can be grouped into five broad themes. In these groups a distinction has been made on the main perspective of the contributions, as some of the concepts, methodologies and data presented are already proven in a range of settings, whilst others are at the forefront of basic research and reflect new thinking, or new challenges in process safety. These are a few of the issues that were addressed at the conference: the list could be considerably extended. This special issue was designed to widen and deepen the current discussion on safety matters, providing a foundation for researchers, professionals and policy makers interested in making a safe and sustainable future more than a metaphor.

2. An overview of the papers in this special issue In the pages that follow the selected 11 papers highlight recent developments and innovative approaches that are being validated either in academia, or in real-world complex systems. De Rademaeker et al. (2014) present a time perspective research on European loss prevention and its future throughout the last 40 years. They address the key questions of ‘Are we making progress or not?’, ‘Have we stalled in the process safety performance area?’ and face the issue of education as a major impediment affecting process safety performance. New challenges in the process safety field are identified and discussed according to these emerging issues: new materials, new technologies; competence sharpening-up and new approaches and methods. Amyotte (2014) explains the realities of dust explosion and dispels a number of myths helping to break the standardised ‘tick box’ approach to risk assessment. He uses the explosion pentagon to discuss elements of the natural, management and social sciences and engineering principles associated with dust explosion hazard identification and risk reduction. The paper includes relevant references to international standards and up-to date research needs. The focus of the paper by Glor et al. (2014) explores the occurrence of propagating brush discharges during the pneumatic transfer of powders through hoses made from insulating material with an earthed metal spiral. Experiments and models are presented for the purpose of setting up reliable specifications of the volume resistivity limits of the material of the hose wall and assess the electrostatic ignition hazard associated with the build-up of charges in practical situations.

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Table 1 – Thematic content, main perspective and highlighted research issues of the selected papers. Author

Theme

Main perspective

De Rademaeker et al.

Process safety engineering

Conceptual

Amyotte

Material hazards

Conceptual

Glor et al.

Process safety engineering

Experimental research

Habib et al.

Risk management and regulatory issues

Theoretical research

Janès et al.

Material hazards

Experimental research

King

Risk management and regulatory issues

Theoretical research

Kirytopoulos et al.

Human factor and management systems

Theoretical research

Markowski and Siuta

Risk management and regulatory issues

Theoretical research

Okoh and Haugen

Learning from accidents and knowledge transfer

Theoretical research

Palazzi et al.

Risk management and regulatory issues

Theoretical research

Van Xanten et al.

Risk management and regulatory issues

Theoretical research

The aim of the paper by Habib et al. (2014) is to point out the different capabilities and accuracies of gas dispersion models and to decide which level of complexity is required for hazard assessment purposes. By the critical comparison of values for very different boundary conditions and experimental setups, the authors highlight the differences in the ability of resolving the near-field and the far-field dispersion, as well as the possibility of taking obstacles into account. The contribution from Janès et al. (2014) presents the experimental characterisation of the ignition sensitivity of different solid inertants and organic powders mixtures, in terms of minimum ignition energy and minimum ignition temperature in cloud and in layer. They also explore the addition of some percents of organic substance to an inert material, such as rock wool or cement powder, in order to modify the material performance, evidencing the need of a correct evaluation of the amount of added organic compound which leads to flame

Issues raised Due to complexity and cost, human and management aspects became very important in process safety. New approaches and methods are proposed to tackle the new challenges. An original approach to understanding the dust explosion problem. Discusses the need for adherence to regulations, codes and standards and identifies several dust explosion research opportunities. Measurement of charging current densities during the pneumatic transfer of powders. Modelling potential and field distribution in hoses with metal spiral. Requirements for the exclusion of propagating brush discharges in plastic hoses. Comparison of gas dispersion models of varying complexity was carried out. Investigation of the required modelling complexity for hazard assessment. Mixing with an inertant powder can moderate ignition sensitivity of organic dusts. Mixtures sensitivity vs. inert content is described by experimental results. Optimal development of layer of protection analysis. How to recognise a high demand rate scenario and its impact on SIL determination in process plants. Current QRA models struggle to take human factor into account. Fuzzy system proposed here, increases the robustness of QRAs, offering a risk picture closer to reality. A method based on the sensitivity analysis that allows including uncertainties in the consequence modelling is proposed. Fuzzy sets and Monte Carlo techniques are chosen. The trend of maintenance-related major accidents in the process industries. Statistics on the degree and distribution of the causes of the major accidents. An original approach to evaluating hazards from oxygen releases and related accident scenarios. Pipeline risk assessment and safety distances estimation. Risk evaluation with a fixed prescribed calculation method presents a risk. Decision making in land use planning requires more dimensions.

propagation, also to implement fire prevention and protection barriers in production facilities and plants using these mixtures. King (2014) explores the issues relating to high demand mode SIL determination assessments and illustrates this with a typical case study from the process sector. Essentially, he shows that using a High Demand calculation gives a more appropriate assessment with a lower, less onerous, SIL requirement (e.g. SIL 1 instead of SIL 2), but still achieving the required hazardous event target frequency. Two papers are dedicated to the improvement of QRA accuracy considering randomness due to inherent variability in the systems (i.e., stochastic uncertainty) and imprecision due to lack of knowledge of the behaviour of the system’s elements (i.e. epistemic uncertainty). Firstly, the paper by Markowski and Siuta (2014) is dedicated to the development of a framework based on fuzzy logic system and Monte Carlo

Process Safety and Environmental Protection 9 2 ( 2 0 1 4 ) 277–279

simulation for dealing with aleatory and epistemic uncertainties in consequence calculations. They successfully validate the approach in a case-study concerning the consequence calculations using uncertainty techniques for LNG pool fire. Results prove that the extent of the hazardous zone is more precisely determined in comparison with the traditional single-point estimations. Secondly, Kirytopoulos et al.’s (2014) paper is devoted to the development of a fuzzy logic system in order to provide more sophisticated estimations of the tunnel operators performance under safety critical situations. The proposed approach couples the results produced by the fuzzy logic with the input parameters for a well established road tunnel QRA model (OECD/PIARC DG-QRA) allowing the analyst to consider both human and organisational/managerial factors. The contribution of Okoh and Haugen (2014) is dedicated to the analysis of 183 major accidents, in the hydrocarbon and chemical process industries between 2000 and 2011 exploring the specific issue of maintenance related causes. They remind us of the importance of learning from past incidents and the need of retaining lessons learned in a corporate memory. Palazzi et al. (2014) face a peculiar aspect of CCS options, proposing a mathematical approach for the evaluation of the safety distances from the release location, for both pure oxygen and concurrent oxygen/hydrocarbon releases, so as to identify incremental hazards and set-up technical/managerial measures to avoid ignitions, explosions and over-oxygenation health effects. Finally the paper from Van Xanten et al. (2015) explores the potential of the calculation method for risk evaluation in Dutch land use planning. They perform a critical and detailed evaluation focusing on risk modelling of a BLEVE at LPG filling stations and considering following items: transparency, verifiability, robustness, validity in terms of correctness and in terms of relevance.

3.

Conclusions

The readers of this special selection of papers will surely come across items of knowledge that inspire further examination and consideration possibly suggesting future improvements in process safety and loss prevention. The EFCE Loss Prevention Working Party is committed to the exchange of safety information among specialists, between research and practice and between academia and industry. Exchanging information and stimulating the development of new methods and the dissemination of data, implementing process safety and security management which may reduce the risk of fires, explosions and loss of containment in the process industries, is a must and a need. Moreover, innovation leads to new processes, under yet unknown conditions and introduce potential new hazards from novel or emerging technologies, and materials with a continuous need for further research and development. In this respect, the International Symposium on Loss Prevention and Safety Promotion in the Process Industries will remain a regular milestone in the exchange of safety know-how and highlight new developments. Loss

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Prevention 2016 will take place in Freiburg, as the 15th conference in the series, and will have a strong praxis oriented focus and will address professionals of all career levels working on, or interested in occupational, plant and process safety.

References Amyotte, P.R., 2014. Some myths and realities about dust explosions. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 292–299, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 7 March 2014). De Rademaeker, E., Suter, G., Pasman, H.J., Fabiano, B., 2014. A review of the past, present and future of the European loss prevention and safety promotion in the process industries. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 280–291, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 27 March 2014). Glor, M., Blum, C., Fath, W., Walther, C.-D., 2014. Electrostatic ignition hazards in insulating or dissipative tubes and hoses for pneumatic transfer of powders—measurements and model calculations. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 300–304, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 19 March 2014). Habib, A., Schalau, B., Schmidt, D., 2014. Comparing tools of varying complexity for calculating the gas dispersion. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 305–310, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 5 March 2014). Janès, A., Vignes, A., Dufaud, O., Carson, D., 2014. Experimental investigation of the influence of inert solids on ignition sensitivity of organic powders. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 311–323, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 28 April 2014). King, A.G., 2014. SIL determination: recognising and handling high demand mode scenarios. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 324–328, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 24 January 2014). Kirytopoulos, K., Konstandinidou, M., Nivolianitou, Z., Kazaras, K., 2014. Embedding the human factor in road tunnel risk analysis. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 329–337, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 27 March 2014). Kletz, T.A., 1999. The origins and history of loss prevention. Trans. IChemE 77 (May (Part B)), 109–116. Markowski, A.S., Siuta, D., 2014. Fuzzy logic approach to calculation of thermal hazard distances in process industries. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 338–345, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 19 February 2014). Okoh, P., Haugen, S., 2014. A study of maintenance-related major accident cases in the 21st century. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 346–356, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 14 March 2014). Palazzi, E., Currò, F., Reverberi, A., Fabiano, B., 2014. Development of a theoretical framework for the evaluation of risk connected to accidental oxygen releases. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 357–367, ISSN: 0957-5820 (available online 6 March 2014). Van Xanten, H.W., Pietersen, C.M., Pasman, H.J., van der Torn, P., Vrijling, H.K., van der Wal, A.J., Kerstens, J.G.M., 2014. Risk evaluation in Dutch land-use planning. Process Saf. Environ. Prot. 92, 368–376, ISSN: 0957-5820.

Bruno Fabiano ∗ DICCA Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering Department, Polytechnic School, Genoa University, via Opera Pia 15, 16145 Genoa, Italy ∗ Tel.: +39 010 3532585; fax: +39 010 3532586. E-mail address: [email protected] http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psep.2014.06.005 0957-5820/© 2014 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of The Institution of Chemical Engineers.