By Peter Hunt – Business Development Director, Industry, WSP
Process safety is a framework for managing the integrity of operating systems and processes handling hazardous substances by applying good design principles, engineering, and operating practices.
Those of us working in process safety strive to prevent and control incidents that can cause the release of hazardous materials. Over five decades, the IChemE Loss Prevention Bulletin has documented many incidents, using stories to illustrate some of the lessons learnt and improve corporate memory. In the UK, an example of this is the Buncefield Fire and Explosion on 11 Dec 2005, which resulted in numerous injuries and damage to assets and the environment.
Our work is about learning from such events and using this knowledge to prevent serious injuries, property damage, lost production, and environmental impact in the future. We do this by trying to make processes inherently safe. As my university lecturer and process safety guru Trevor Kletz used to say in summing up inherent safety: “What you don’t have, can’t leak.”