DEKRA Process Safety

Organizational Process Safety

Organizational Process Safety: Taking Process Safety to the Next Level
by R. Scott Stricoff and Hervé Vaudrey

There are many models for process safety management that have evolved since the late 80s. Most companies involved in manufacture, storage, use, and transportation of highly hazardous chemicals have adopted one or more versions of these models, and yet we continue to see many serious and catastrophic incidents each year.

This white paper illustrates a model that identifies elements from the individual activities in three distinct models: the CCPS 20-element risk-based PSM model, OSHA’s PSM rule, the Process Safety Code – in fact all elements of whatever traditional PSM model you prefer.

What the model does differently is recognize the critical interrelationship of two elements with each of the others – those being Organizational Culture and Organizational Capability. These are not just additional “check-the-box” aspects of process safety management. Rather they are the glue that integrates an effective system – and often overlooked.

Some Common Mistakes in HAZOPs
by Dr. Arturo Trujillo

Over the past few decades Hazard and Operability Study (HAZOP) has been imposing itself as one of the most powerful tools for identifying process hazards. In addition, with the use of more or less simplified semi-quantification systems, HAZOP is being increasingly used both as a tool for risk assessment and for prioritising actions for risk mitigation.

On the other hand, a HAZOP is a time-consuming exercise and should be conducted in such a way as to ensure that the results justify the effort expended in achieving them. In this paper we point out some of the commonest pitfalls that can jeopardise a HAZOP team’s task, and the ways to avoid them.

wp process safety competency

Process Safety Competency

Professional training is undergoing a revolution in terms of both form and content. The arrival of new information technologies is partly responsible, as well the extensive and sometimes abusive reliance on PowerPoint presentations. We’re hearing about the progressive replacement of conventional face-to-face training sessions by e-learning, and the arrival of serious games representing a market of several billion euros. The real cause of this development lies much deeper than new technologies though, as it is associated with changes in how companies are managing their competencies. It is no longer simply a question of training employees and ticking training boxes, but of proving and managing competencies. Human resources departments, to which these responsibilities were generally assigned, are now progressively being renamed as Talent Management Centers, Competency Development Centers, etc.

Establishing a Housekeeping Program for Combustible Dusts

The importance of having good housekeeping in facilities, where combustible dust is handled/processed, cannot be overstated. The Chemical Safety Board and other agencies who have investigated serious dust explosions over the last 30 years have found a number of common casual factors for these incidents. Among them, lack of adequate housekeeping programs designed to maintain accumulations of combustible dusts to acceptable levels to prevent flash fire or explosion hazards within these facilities. Where combustible dust accumulations are allowed to exceed these levels, the plant becomes at risk for secondary dust explosions.

The Good Bad and Ugly of Ammonia Refrigeration

Ammonia (azane(1) or R-717) was among the early refrigerants, first used in 1850 in France(2). It was then utilized in the US in the 1860s for artificial ice production and then the first ammonia refrigeration machines were patented in the 1870s. Ammonia is one of the early chemicals to secure a lasting role as a refrigerant. There is hardly anything that we consume at breakfast, lunch, and dinner that does not pass through an ammonia refrigeration system at some point.

Laboratory Testing

lab testing

We operate one of DEKRA's world premier chemical process hazards laboratories. Process safety testing is used to develop the data on which fire and explosion hazard assessments and incident investigations should be based.

Learn about our Laboratory Testing options