Punta Gorda, FL, United States
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Murphy J.F.,Process Safety Services | Conner J.,Eiger Consulting LLC
28th Center for Chemical Process Safety International Conference 2013, CCPS - Topical Conference at the 2013 AIChE Spring Meeting and 9th Global Congress on Process Safety | Year: 2013

Last year at the 8th Global Congress for Process Safety we presented a paper entitled, "Beware of the Black Swan: The Limitations of Risk Analysis for Predicting the Extreme Impact of Rare Process Safety Incidents." The paper discussed the difficulties of predicting black swan events - rare but catastrophic occurrences which continue to happen in the chemical processing industries despite the focus that has been brought to process safety over the past 30-40 years. Once black swan events occur, after investigations and development of lessons learned, they become white swans. By white swans we mean these type of events become more predictable and as we do hazard identification and risk analysis we become cognizant of the similar potential scenarios in new plants and plant modifications. - at least for a while. This paper discusses how white swans slowly become greyer as time goes on if the lessons learned from black swan events are not kept fresh. Examples of black swans that become white swans and then become grey as time goes on will be discussed. Ideas of how to keep the white swans from becoming grey with time, including the key role of Management, will also be discussed.


Murphy J.F.,Process Safety Services | Conner J.,Eiger Consulting LLC
Process Safety Progress | Year: 2014

Last year at the 8th Global Congress for Process Safety, we presented a paper entitled, "Beware of the Black Swan: The Limitations of Risk Analysis for Predicting the Extreme Impact of Rare Process Safety Incidents." The paper discussed the difficulties of predicting black swan events-rare but catastrophic occurrences which continue to happen in the chemical processing industries despite the focus that has been brought to process safety over the past 30-40 years. Once black swan events occur, after investigations and development of lessons learned, they become white swans. By white swans, we mean these type of events become more predictable and as we do hazard identification and risk analysis we become cognizant of the similar potential scenarios in new plants and plant modifications-at least for a while. This article discusses how white swans slowly become greyer as time goes on if the lessons learned from black swan events are not kept fresh. Examples of black swans that become white swans and then become grey as time goes on will be discussed. Ideas of how to keep the white swans from becoming grey with time, including the key role of Management, will also be discussed. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Chastain J.W.,Eastman Chemical Company | Urbanik S.A.,DuPont Company | Johnson R.W.,Unwin Company | Murphy J.F.,Process Safety Services
AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings | Year: 2013

This paper outlines the content of a new CCPS book entitled Guidelines for Enabling Conditions and Conditional Modifiers in LOPA. An enabling condition is a condition that is not a failure, error or a protection layer but makes it possible for an incident sequence to proceed to a consequence of concern. It consists of an operating phase or condition that does not directly cause the scenario, but that must be present or active in order for the scenario to proceed to a loss event; expressed as a dimensionless probability. A conditional modifier is one of several probabilities included in scenario risk calculations, generally when risk criteria endpoints are expressed in impact terms (e.g., fatalities) instead of in primary loss event (e.g., release, vessel rupture). Conditional modifiers include, but are not limited to: probability of a hazardous atmosphere, probability of ignition, probability of explosion, probability of personnel presence, probability of injury or fatality, and probability of equipment damage or other financial impact. These Guidelines for Enabling Conditions and Conditional Modifiers in LOPA contain information useful to the experienced analyst and accomplished practitioner. In this book, various kinds of enabling conditions and conditional modifiers are defined and illustrated as they might be used in Layer of Protection Analyses (LOPAs). There is a discussion on how enabling conditions and conditional modifiers can be used in other risk analysis applications. The appendices discuss "double jeopardy" and simultaneous failures, peak risk, and example rules for enabling conditions and conditional modifiers.


Murphy J.F.,Process Safety Services
50th Annual Loss Prevention Symposium 2016, LPS 2016 - Topical Conference at the 2016 AIChE Spring Meeting and 12th Global Congress on Process Safety | Year: 2016

This article is a continuation of three articles that I have authored or co-authored on the "black swan", the rare and unpredictable catastrophic event. The first two papers discussed the concept of the black swan as applied to the chemical and petroleum processing industries and the difficulty in predicting such events. The third paper discussed the fact that we have difficulty maintaining the lessons learned from black swan events that have occurred. I have survived and witnessed several black swans. Each has affected me personally and professionally. Black swan events are rare but inevitable. Some individuals and companies survive black swan events and continue on while others do not. I have learned that many black swan events, although initially viewed as catastrophes, can result in opportunities from a process safety improvement, career and personal perspective. This paper presents examples of black swan events that have impacted my career in process safety, often in a positive way, and strategies for surviving these "black swan" events from a personal, professional and a company point of view.


Murphy J.F.,Process Safety Services
Process Safety Progress | Year: 2011

This article summarizes the appropriate use of layer of protection analysis and inherent safety to prevent low probability and high consequence accidents. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).


Murphy J.F.,Process Safety Services | Conner J.,President Eiger Consulting LLC
Process Safety Progress | Year: 2012

This article will discuss the concept of the black swan, the extreme impact of rare and unpredictable events, as applied to chemical process risk assessment. Lessons learned from black swan events of the past and the applicability of these lessons to the design and operations of existing and new chemical processing facilities will be discussed. The limitations of layer of protection analysis (LOPA) and other risk analysis tools in predicting black swan events will be examined. The discussion on the limitations of risk analysis will include examples of hazards scenarios where risk analysis tools such as LOPA may not be appropriate. © 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).


This article is a continuation of three articles that I have authored or coauthored on the "black swan," the rare and unpredictable catastrophic event. The first two papers discussed the concept of the black swan as applied to the chemical and petroleum processing industries and the difficulty in predicting such events. The third paper discussed the fact that we have difficulty maintaining the lesson's learned from black swan events that have occurred. I have survived and witnessed several black swans. Each has affected me personally and professionally. Black swan events are rare but inevitable. Some individuals and companies survive black swan events and continue on while others do not. I have learned that many black swan events, although initially viewed as catastrophes, can result in opportunities from a process safety improvement, career, and personal perspective. This article presents examples of black swan events that have impacted my career in process safety, often in a positive way, and strategies for surviving these "black swan" events from a personal, professional, and a company point of view. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Murphy J.F.,Process Safety Services | Conner J.,Enerkem
Global Congress on Process Safety 2012 - Topical Conference at the 2012 AIChE Spring Meeting and 8th Global Congress on Process Safety | Year: 2012

This paper will discuss the concept of the black swan, the extreme impact of rare and unpredictable events, as applied to chemical process risk assessment. Lessons learned from black swan events of the past and the applicability of these lessons to the design and operations of existing and new chemical processing facilities will be discussed. The limitations of Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) and other risk analysis tools in predicting black swan events will be examined. The discussion on the limitations of risk analysis will include examples of hazards scenarios where risk analysis tools such as LOPA may not be appropriate.

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