How to prevent process accidents



Most professionals agree that the correct application of process safety management (OSHA's Process Safety Management regulation) will prevent major process accidents. Some professionals also agree that the PSM documentation is not enough; a good PSM program must include good communication, delegation, and follow-up. There are also some who emphasize that operational discipline is an essential element of the PSM program. In all cases, however, the teachings do not say how to obtain the desired results. Even when discipline is discussed, the discussions do not specify how this discipline is achieved. Many articles additionally emphasize the importance of having a good safety culture—but they do not say how to achieve it.

In general, current articles do not explicitly teach how to develop the necessary PSM program, the discipline, and the culture—to prevent major process accidents. These articles very appropriately stress what needs to be done to prevent major accidents; however, they do not tell you how this is accomplished. This specific article is designed to be a companion article to the cited articles; together they show what is required and how to achieve the desired results to prevent process accidents. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2011.