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Process Changes: Understanding and Mitigating Fire-and Life-Safety Risk Factors

By McKenna Pearson, Telgian Engineering & Consulting |

When making a change in your process, do not overlook new potential hazards that may arise, as discussed here Large-scale chemical processing can be inherently risky. This is especially important to keep in mind when making changes to a process. As we have seen recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have begun creating essential new products, from hand sanitizer to plastic face shields. If new raw materials are used, or if existing equipment is used to create a new product, the associated hazards may also change. During an emergency, once a new process is operating, it is easy to overlook any new risks that have been created. Many factors must be considered, and some may require council from a fire- and life-safety professional. Among the major considerations for confirming that fire and life safety systems are adequate for your process are: ensuring the proper storage of hazardous material, considering the risk of the process to the facility, and system maintenance.   Storing new hazardous materials A major factor that should be examined in detail when making any changes to a chemical process is the storage of any new hazardous materials (Figure 1). These can be raw materials, finished products or waste. Just…
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