Process Safety


This chapter aims to allow us to gain awareness and appreciation of safety in chemical processes. The chapter introduces some common terminologies in safety measures and process hazard analysis techniques. By the end of this chapter, we should be able to use the process hazard analysis techniques to analyze potential hazards in simple process units and prioritize process safety in our design.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

List and describe basic process safety terminology

Appreciate the need for process safety

Prioritize process safety changes based on inherently safer design strategies

List and describe process hazard analysis techniques

Apply the following process hazard analysis methods: what-if analysis, checklist / checklist combined with what-if analysis, fault-tree analysis

Interpret the following process hazard analysis methods: failure modes and effect analysis (FMEA)

As you are going through this chapter, some important terms for you to take note of:

  • accident
  • safety
  • loss prevention
  • hazard
  • risk
  • incident
  • scenario
  • outcome/consequence
  • safety triangle (3 aspects: technical, management, culture)
  • OSHA
  • FAR
  • fatality rate
  • inherently safer design
  • non-scenario based methods (for process hazard analysis)
  • scenario-based methods (for process hazard analysis)
  • extent of hazards
  • operating history
  • what-if analysis
  • (valve) fails open
  • checklist analysis
  • fault-tree analysis
  • basic event
  • intermediate event
  • undeveloped event
  • “and” gate
  • “or” gate
  • failure modes and effect analysis (FMEA)


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