Reducing Process Safety Events: An approach proven by sustainable results


  • This article was prepared for presentation at American Institute of Chemical Engineers 2017 Spring Meeting, 13th Global Congress on Process Safety, San Antonio, Texas, March 26–29, 2017.


The Dow Chemical Company has significantly reduced the number of Tier 1 Process Safety events from 69 in 2008 to an average of 10 in 2013–2015. This paper will share some of the key elements that have led to this successful and sustainable reduction in incidents. The structure of the paper is focused around the concept of “Effective Process Safety Programs” published by Klein and Vaughen, Process Safety: Key Concepts and Practical Applications, CRC Press, 2017.

In this paper, we will provide details on Dow's Operational Discipline systems that enable success on a day-to-day basis. These systems include Procedure Use Culture, Process Safety Training programs, and Process Safety Collaboration Networks. We will also describe our Process Safety Management Systems that enable long-term success including Dow's Loss Prevention Principles (LPP), use of Process Hazards Analysis (PHA), Layer of Protection Analysis (LOPA) and other tools to manage risk, and Dow's Mechanical Integrity program. The success is built on a strong foundation of Safety Culture and Leadership. This paper will illustrate how Dow is structured to support the Process Safety efforts and examples will be shared about how leadership at all levels of the organization is practiced and demonstrated. © 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Process Saf Prog 36: 326–337, 2017