Accident precursors : pro-active identification of safety by P.M.W. Körvers.

By P.M.W. Körvers.

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Additional info for Accident precursors : pro-active identification of safety risks in the chemical process industry

Sample text

These tools are numerous, van Steen (van Steen, 1996) amongst others provides an overview of many different technical and human based inspections utilized by different companies in the chemical process industry. The aim of this type of tool is to check the presence and effectiveness of technical and human safety measures. This ’safe way of working’ is compared with standards (technical and human) and expert opinion to indicate 30 possible deficiencies and opportunities for improvement. ’ The third type of monitoring SIs, are constructed from tools such as (safety) audits and (safety) inspections.

To provide some additional information regarding the 70 accidents, the activity or ‘mode of operation’ during which the accidents occurred is shown in Figure 13. , 1999), generally similar ratios between modes of operation and maintenance/cleaning were found when an accident occurred. , 1999) showed from analysis of accidents due to releases from pipe work and in-line equipment that the most dangerous modes of operation are ‘normal operation (39%)’ and ‘maintenance (17%)’. The percentages are lower than presented here, because 19% of cases the mode of operation was unknown.

Deviations belonging to the category ‘high’ likelihood and ‘low’ consequence are rarely taken into account when constructing pro-active SIs, even though it is this 37 category of deviations that has been mainly responsible for causing recent accidents. Re-occurring deviations (high likelihood), which do not have a direct safety related impact (low consequence), are often the type of deviations that can be identified prior to an accident. It appears that in constructing pro-active SIs, a specific class of data has not been retrieved from the operational business process in chemical process industry.

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