Chemical process safety
Kletz, Trevor A. Process Safety Consultant, Cheadle, Cheshire, United Kingdom.
- Risk assessment
- Identification of hazards
- Inherently safer design
- Accident investigation
- Other procedures
- Additional Readings
During the 1950s and 1960s a new generation of larger chemical plants were built. These plants operated at higher temperatures and pressures. An unforeseen result was an increase in fires, explosions, and other serious incidents. The fatal accident rate (the number of fatal accidents in 108 working hours or in a group of 1000 people in a working lifetime) reached a high point in the mid-1960s in a very large chemical company (see illus.). The industry realized that safety required a stronger technical basis. This led to the growth of process safety as a distinct branch of chemical engineering. It is often called loss prevention, especially in Europe. The illustration also shows the results achieved by this chemical company as it applied process safety. Many other chemical companies had similar experiences, although some have not yet achieved full benefits from process safety.
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