Quality problems as process safety warning signs


john@phms.us.com (for correspondence)


Many companies collect and report process safety incidents. Some companies also collect process safety near misses. These safety near misses are sometimes quality deviations; for example, a process parameter that exceeds the safe operating limit, a critical safety system that is activated, or a minor release of hazardous material occurs. The intent of this article is to show how a quality incident can also be a process safety near-miss and what should be done to recognize its potential severity. Many of the causes of quality problems may be subtle, such as the fouling of cooling surfaces or a control valve that responds slowly. If these issues continue unchecked, the conditions will continue to persist and a more serious event occurs. © 2013 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog, 2013