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Safety and chemical engineering education—History and results



The Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) started their Safety and Chemical Engineering Education (SACHE) efforts in 1985. The objective of CCPS's SACHE is to help professors add safety to their chemical engineering courses. This added education is needed because large chemical plant accidents continue to increase every year. The consequences are deaths, injuries, and environmental damage, and there is currently no sign that there will be fewer accidents in the future. The causes are the complexity of chemical processes, the aging of our existing plants, and sizes of our newer plants. Our students and engineers must be especially motivated to prevent these accidents in this complex environment. The ultimate goal of SACHE is to create a “safety culture” in our young professionals by adding elements of safety to the undergraduate curriculum. The idea is that if students are exposed to safety in small quantities throughout their education, then it will become a part of their inherent thinking both as students and when working as professionals. This safety culture will help our future professionals to be positive motivated to design, install, and manage safe plants in this challenging environment. Clearly the detailed education on specific process safety topics is the responsibility of industry; however, the effectiveness of this training will be substantially improved when working with engineers with a positive safety culture. These SACHE efforts include: a) motivating professors regarding the importance of process safety (workshops for professors in a plant environment), b) helping professors add safety to their courses (developing course safety materials), and c) motivating students regarding the importance of process safety (professors using these materials in their classes, AICHE Design Problem Awards, and SACHE Safety Certificates). © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2009