As per the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic 2016), India ranks 4th in Asia and 6th in world with chemicals production valued at 77.3 billion Euro in 2015. This industry employs more than 20 lakh people.

While this sector continues to show growth, what is alarming is the steady increase in the no. of accidents occurring in the industry. Official data shows more than 5660 people lost their lives in Indian factories between 2013 and 2016. While the above number may be just a static for many, for anyone connected with the industry, a fatal accident or a physical disability, leaves a permanent scar in the memory. The consequences are unpleasant; for the management, for the families, friends, communities, and employees. The company gets a bad reputation; employees leave for safer organizations; contract workers shun the company and lastly this incident becomes a big drag on the company’s reserves.

While no management would like his employee to get injured in the workplace, why is it that we have not been able to arrest this rising injury statistics? Where is the problem?

When it comes to safety in chemical industries, it is important to differentiate between occupational safety and process safety. Occupational safety is a multidisciplinary field, concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at work. It is sometimes referred to as “hard hat safety” due to its concern with topics such as personal protective equipment (PPE), noise exposure, slips, trips, and falls. On the other hand, process safety focuses on preventing and minimizing the consequences of releasing chemicals to the atmosphere that may be toxic, reactive, flammable, explosive, or a combination of these properties. Process safety is more complex than occupational safety and is also more expensive. Process safety incidents happen at a lower frequency but have severe consequences; occupational safety incidents happen at a higher frequency but with lower severity. This is often a problem as mistakenly, people focus on the highest occurrences of incidents, rather than focus on the most serious ones. Reducing the no. of occupational safety incidents gives a false impression to the management that safety is progressing well and under control. But nothing can be farther from truth. For example people often use this to explain why the BP Texas City refinery explosion and fire, which sadly killed 15 people and injured 180 more, occurred. It was seen that there was too much emphasis on reducing the high number of occupational safety incidents, rather than the infrequent but much more serious process safety incidents. Needless to say, both process safety as well as occupational safety are important in ensuring incident free operations but putting in place a process safety management system automatically brings the associated benefit of inculcating a safety culture that takes care of occupational safety as well. While PSM is necessary for both big and small companies, it is wrongly believed that PSM systems were developed by and for big companies. On the contrary, it is actually correct to say that small companies often do not have the understanding and skills necessary to implement PSM systems in their facility.

Besides strengthening the PSM systems, there is one important technical area that needs strengthening in the Indian chemical industry. That is Process Hazard Analysis (PHA). Process Hazard Analysis helps to answer the following three questions for any chemical industry:

• What can go wrong and how bad it can go • How frequently it will happen • What can be done to contain it

Hazard analysis and operability studies is one popular method of PHA. There are more than 12 PHA methodologies by which the above questions can be answered. Each method has its own merits and for a given process or type of operation, one or more of the 12 methods should be applied to ensure that we find answer to those questions correctly and apply necessary safeguards.

In actual practice, engineers carry out HAZOP in a straight jacketed manner by applying the guide words meticulously but miss the wood for trees. More time is spent without uncovering the hidden hazards.

With these things in mind, a two-day program “Strengthen your PSM and PHA programs and achieve Quantum jump in process safety performance” is being organized.

This two-day program will cover the following topics in detail:

• Process Hazard Analysis • Process Safety Knowledge • Developing process Safety Competency

• Writing effective operating procedures • Developing safe work procedures • Managing changes to the plant • Conducting startup safety reviews • Complying with codes, standards and RAGAGEPs • Implementing asset integrity and quality assurance program • Learning from Incidents • Augmenting resources for mitigating the aftereffects of any emergency • Providing directions and leadership to safety • Developing process safety culture • Implementing a cost effective PSM system

Senior executives in operations, maintenance, HSE departments, owners and their top management in the following industries will find this program very useful: • Pharmaceuticals • Chemical industries • Petrochemicals, • Fertilizers, • Refineries, gas handling, etc.

I am conducting this course with the help of Tecknow Conferences. The program is being held in Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai on 13-14, 16-17 and 20-21 May 2019. We would like you to avail this opportunity to learn the rudiments of installing an effective process safety management system and enhance your skills in PHA at your site. Since, seats to the course are limited, please hurry. This opportunity to learn such advanced topics as PSM and PHA does not come often.

Please contact Tecknow Conferences: +91-8108393800/ 9004855020, Email Us : info@tecknowcon.in/david@tecknowcon.in, Website : www.tecknowcon.in.

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