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Sarrack A.G.,Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants Inc.
Chemical Engineering Transactions | Year: 2014

Facilities with potentially significant toxic and/or flammable hazards often establish shelter-in-place locations (SIPs) in order to mitigate risks associated with an accidental release of hazardous materials. In addition to rapidly isolating the source of a release, typical SIP strategies include isolating building ventilation systems upon detection of dangerous concentrations of hazardous gases at the SIP ventilation intake and making the SIP as leak-tight as possible. However, the reliability of such detection systems and ventilation isolation mechanisms can vary dramatically, as can the leak tightness of SIPs. The adequacy of SIP tightness and the reliability of its ventilation isolation can therefore become sources of debate without any clear resolution. This paper provides guidance for establishing defensible values for these parameters based on standard risk analysis techniques. An additional concern with SIP designs is that the building may be vulnerable to potential blast damage from vapor cloud explosions, so directing people to a shelter-in-place location may not be as effective as evacuating them to a safe outdoor muster point. This becomes especially pertinent with materials such as hydrogen sulfide which are both flammable and toxic. Issues associated with SIP blast vulnerability, loss of SIP pressurization, temporary loss of boundary integrity due to exterior door opening by "late comers," and crediting escape packs, self-contained breathing apparatuses, air-supplied respirators and evacuation fallback plans are covered in this paper. SIP design challenges such as methods of creating a leak-tight volume, addressing oxygen depletion and carbon dioxide buildup, providing emergency communication, and development of practical fallback plans are also discussed in this paper. © Copyright 2014, AIDIC Servizi S.r.l. Source

Broadribb M.P.,Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants Inc.
Process Safety Progress | Year: 2012

People have inherent strengths and weaknesses that can affect their performance. Issues such as fatigue, emotional stress, and motivation can adversely affect performance. Their performance is also influenced by factors external to the individual, such as poor equipment design, inadequate training, excessive workload, and the work environment. Most incidents in the process and related industries involve human factors, often as a key causal factor. Understanding these performance-shaping factors is essential for conducting good incident investigations. However, besides those involved in the actual incident, human factors can affect other aspects of the incident investigation process, especially when considering other stakeholders. The content of this article will raise awareness of how human factors can affect the success of the incident investigation process, and help others plan for improved investigations. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Source

Pitblado R.M.,DNV | Woodward J.L.,Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants Inc.
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries | Year: 2011

The authors have recently undertaken a major review of LNG consequence modeling, compiling a wide range of historical information with more recent experiments and modeling approaches in a book entitled " LNG Risk-Based Safety: Modeling and Consequence Analysis" All the main consequence routes were reviewed - discharge, evaporation, pool and jet fire, vapor cloud explosions, rollover, and Rapid Phase Transitions (RPT's). In the book, experimental data bases are assembled for tests on pool spread and evaporation, burn rates, dispersion, fire and radiation and effects on personnel and structures. The current paper presents selected highlights of interest: lessons learned from historical development and experience, comparison of predictions by various models, varying mechanisms for LNG spread of water, a modeling protocol to enable acceptance of newer models, and unresolved technical issues such as cascading failures, fire engulfment of a carrier, the circumstances for a possible LNG BLEVE, and accelerated evaporation by LNG penetration into water. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Moosemiller M.,Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants Inc.
Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries | Year: 2011

A project was performed for the Explosion Research Cooperative to develop algorithms for predicting the frequencies of explosions based on a variety of design, operating and environmental conditions. Algorithms were developed for estimating unit-based explosion frequencies, such as those reported in API Recommended Practice 752, but in more detail and covering a much broader range of chemical process types. The project also developed methods for predicting scenario-based explosion frequencies, using frequencies of initiating events and conditional probabilities of immediate ignition and delayed ignition resulting in explosion. The algorithms were based on a combination of published data and expert opinion. © 2011 M. Moosemiller. Source

Broadribb M.,Baker Engineering and Risk Consultants Inc.
Proceedings of the Annual Offshore Technology Conference | Year: 2015

Objective/Scope Process safety management systems are widely credited with reductions in major accident risk for onshore operations. Yet although offshore oil and gas operations also have the potential for catastrophic disaster, process safety management systems offshore are not as mature. Over the past thirty years, the author has been involved in the application of offshore process safety. The paper will discuss the strengths and weaknesses observed, some common themes involving process safety management systems, and future approaches for continuous improvement. Methods, Procedures, Process Many of today's process safety practices are a result of lessons learned by industry after experiencing major accidents. Although certain process safety practices were in place prior to the Piper Alpha disaster, the incident paved the way for major changes to process safety in the UK and USA. Those process safety changes were mainly focused on: The Safety Case in the North Sea, and a voluntary Safety and Environmental Management Program in the Gulf of Mexico. More recently the Deepwater Horizon incident led to adoption of a mandatory Safety and Environmental Management System. Results, Observations, Conclusions Some aspects of the Safety Case approach (and its integral process safety practices) could be improved, but nevertheless, such an approach has led to a significant reduction in risk for North Sea operations. Performance has stagnated to some extent, but a number of initiatives are underway to drive continuous improvement. The Deepwater Horizon incident raised awareness that prevention of major accidents requires a specific focus on process safety management over and above that for conventional occupational safety-a lesson already learned by onshore process industries. Although there is a strong emphasis on personal safety within the drilling industry, it is not often balanced by an equal focus on process safety. Since process safety is not universally well understood offshore, there are opportunities to strengthen safety management systems. The author has personally witnessed weaknesses in various process safety elements, including asset integrity of safety critical equipment/ elements. Novel/Additive Information Despite improvements in risk reduction and recent regulatory changes, the industry must not become complacent and needs to maintain a sense of vulnerability. The next drivers for performance improvementare likely to include more pro-active leadership, use of leading metrics, and culture change that leads to greater workforce involvement and a 'beyond compliance' mentality. The magnitude of the culture change that will be needed to advance process safety management is significant, but it can be facilitated by strong leadership enforcing standards. The industry requires carefully selected metrics to provide early warning of low probability/high consequence process safety incidents. Above all else, the industry needs to recognize that good safety performance requires that hazards are identified, the associated risks are understood, and the risks are managed by "doing the right thing". Copyright © (2015) by the Offshore Technology Conference All rights reserved. Source

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