Analysis of independent protection layers used in three typical chemical processes



Independent protection layers (IPLs) used to mitigate the most severe consequences are analyzed for three chemical processes. The IPLs are categorized by type, function, and design. An analysis of management systems that are in place to ensure the integrity of the IPLs is also included. Categorizations for all three plants revealed similar results and suggest that the results extend across the chemical industry. The data show that the chemical plants depend much more heavily on IPLs that prevent an incident rather than respond to an incident once hazardous material is released. The survey also found that there is a significant reliance on administrative safeguards to achieve an acceptable level of risk. Recommendations are made on how administrative safeguards can adapt these systems to improve their robustness. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2011