ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

SAFETY MANAGEMENT: Process Safety Management Systems

Updated on July 15, 2014
Buncefield Fire, Hertfordshire
Buncefield Fire, Hertfordshire | Source

What is Process Safety?

Process safety is the prevention of accidents and incidents that are likely to occur in a facility that uses hazardous materials for production. These accidents include fires, explosions and release of chemicals to the environment. Process safety management systems deal with the establishment of procedures for prevention and control of these accidents. Process safety is also known as chemical process safety.

The importance of process safety came to the fore after the Bhopal Gas Disaster of December 4th 1984 that took place in the Indian City of Bhopal. Over four thousand people were killed and many more injured when a chemical reaction went out of control in the Union Carbide plant that produced insecticides. The sheer numbers of lives lost in what is considered the worst industrial accident in the world prompted players in the industry to develop standards that prevent such accidents from ever occurring.

Industrial Accidents can be prevented using good process management

There have been many industrial accidents that have taken place over the years. Though these accidents did not reach the scale of the Bhopal disaster, they have been serious enough to cause death and destruction of property.

Most of the industrial accidents that have taken place have done so as a result of failures in the management systems, technology and human systems. The accidents have also been caused by unavoidable external factors such as the weather and earth quakes.

Examples of Poor Process Safety Management

Poor process management systems can lead to serious accidents due to lack of controls and standards. There have been many processes in the past that have gone dismally wrong because proper management systems had not been put in place. The following are industrial accidents that have taken place in the past and have been blamed on process management system failures:

  • Hanover Township, PA: Hydroxylamine Runaway Reaction, February 1999
  • Longford, Australia: Gas Explosion, September 1998
  • Bhopal, India: Chemical Disaster, December 4th 1984
  • Pasadena, Texas: Phillips Explosion,
  • Port Neal, Iowa: Ammonium Nitrate Explosion, December 1994
  • Feyzin, France: Boiling Liquid Vapor Explosion, 1966
  • Mexico City, Mexico: Pipe Rapture, November 1984
  • Flixborough, UK: Reactor Fires, June 1974

Those are just examples of industrial accidents that happened and which caused substantial damage to life and property.

Process Safety Management Systems

Process safety management systems must be as simple as possible and should be applied depending on the hazards involved. These systems must be continuously improved based on learned experienced and best practices from other players. For the safety management systems to be successful, they must have the following elements:

  • A Safety Culture must be in place in an organization. This culture is enhanced through disciplined adherence to established standards, training and improvement of the standards. This commitment to process safety can only be achieved if employees and other stakeholders are actively involved
  • Clarity of the system is of paramount importance if it is to succeed. A clear process for identifying hazards and analysing risk must also be in place
  • Identified risk need to be managed through clear and understandable operating procedures that encourage safe work practices. Other ways in which identified risks are managed is through proper equipment maintenance, harmonization of supplier systems, employee skills improvement and change management.
  • Continuously improvement through application of lessons learnt from past incidents and accidents. Auditing of the newly established standards helps sustain and prevent slipping to the old ways
  • Timely response to issues prevents serious accidents
  • Fostering of a learning environment where employee freely voice any safety concerns that they may have.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)