By Sebastiano Giardinella and Alberto Baumeister Ecotek group of companies Mayra Marchetti Consultant |
Early process-hazards analyses can lead to potential cost savings in project and plant operations
The chemical process industries (CPI) handle a wide variety of materials, many of which are hazardous by nature (for example, flammable, toxic or reactive), or are processed at hazardous conditions (such as high pressures or temperatures). The risks associated with CPI facilities not only extend to the plant personnel and assets, but can potentially affect the surrounding population and environment — sometimes with consequences having regional or international scale, as in the case of toxic vapor or liquid releases.
It is for this reason that process safety is recognized as a key element throughout the entire life of the plant, and several industry and professional associations and government authorities have issued norms, standards and regulations with regards to this subject.
Process safety, as defined by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), is “a discipline that focuses on the prevention and mitigation of fires, explosions and accidental chemical releases at process facilities. Excludes classic worker health and safety issues involving working surfaces, ladders, protective equipment and so on.”  Process safety involves…