From 1985 to 2000, large western chemical and petroleum companies, collaborating through the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), developed a sophisticated level of process safety knowledge and shared this knowledge in the western world through conferences and English-language books. This approach proved satisfactory to address the process safety needs of a large proportion of global industry existing at the time. However, since 2000, the industry has been expanding significantly in developing regions of the world. Communications in these new regions are complicated by language, time zone differences, and culture.
Additionally, as reported by the US Chemical Safety Board, many smaller companies, even in the west, are often unaware of the considerable resources that have been developed. Finally, new engineers entering the workplace around the world are generally unable to travel, to attend courses or technical sessions. And because of the Internet resources available to them during their formative years, they are less enthused about plowing through hardcover books to retrieve information.
It is clear that traditional books, courses, and technical sessions do not always successfully reach all of these groups. CCPS has recognized that the communication paradigm must be changed and expanded. This article addresses what CCPS is doing to (a) close physical and language gaps, through on-site participation and translation of key materials, and (b) use exciting new Internet tools to facilitate interactions across distances that meet the needs of new engineers. © 2007 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2007