The Process Safety Professional

The Process Safety Professional

Note: This book is under development. Some of the material has been published at our blog site The PSM Report.

The Process Safety Professional provides guidance to managers, consultants and technical specialists in the energy and process industries. The formal discipline of process safety management is mature — the formal regulations are now over 30 years old, and much progress has been made. Many process facilities now have effective process safety programs in place. However, in the words of the motto, 

There is always news about safety, and some of that news will be bad.

The books is organized into the following ten chapters. 

  1. The Process Safety Discipline
  2. Process Safety Fundamentals
  3. Regulations and Standards
  4. The Management Elements
  5. Education and Skills
  6. Industrial Experience
  7. Industrial Experience
  8. The Process Safety Consultant
  9. The Future
  10. Net Zero

Ian Sutton


Chapter 1

The Process Safety Discipline
Organization of this Book
Definition of Process Safety Management
A Timeline
Step 1. Safety as a Value
Step 2. Codes and Standards    
Step 3. Workers Compensation 
Step 4. Occupational/Personal Safety
   Lockout / Tagout
Step 5. Systems Analysis
Step 6. Regulations
Step 7. Safety Management Systems
   Safety Cases
   ISO 9000 / 14001
   Six Sigma
Step 8. Behavior Based Safety
Step 9. Instrumentation and Control Systems
   Safety Instrumented Systems
   Statistical Process Control
Step 10. Videos
   Recordings of Events
   Event Reconstruction
   Chemical Safety Board
Step 11. Culture
Step 12. The Future
Important Events
   Flixborough, U.K. (1974)
   Bhopal, India (1984)
   Piper Alpha, U.K. (1988)
   Deepwater Horizon, U.S. (2010)

Chapter 2
Process Safety Fundamentals
Performance-Based / Non-Prescriptive
Management Elements
Working With People
   Defining Culture
   Employee Participation
   Perfection as a Slogan 
Risk Analysis
   Components of Risk 
   Calculation of Risk
   Subjective Nature of Risk
Acceptable Risk
   As Low as Reasonably Practical — ALARP 
   De Minimis Risk
   Citations / Case Law 
   Indexing Methods 
Safe Limits
Other Industries
   Nuclear Navy
   Electronics / Military
   Civilian Nuclear Power
   Hyperloop Generic Safety Study

Chapter 3
Regulations and Standards

OSHA and EPA Updates
Safety Cases
Professional Standards 
Company Standards    
Effectiveness of Regulations and Standards

Chapter 4
The Management Elements

The “Most Important” Element
Process Safety Culture
Workforce Involvement  
Stakeholder Outreach    
Knowledge Management
Hazard Identification and Risk Management
   HAZOP by Difference
   Multi-Lingual PHAs
   Evergreen Hazards Analysis
   Natural Events   
Operating Procedures
Safe Work Practices  
Asset Integrity / Reliability
Contractor Management
Training / Performance  
Management of Change
Operational Readiness
Conduct of Operations
Emergency Management
Incident Investigation    
   Complex, Not Complicated
   Credibility of Statements    
Measurement and Metrics    
   OSHA Audit Requirements
   EPA RMP Audit Requirements
   Audit Fundamentals
Management Review

Chapter 5    
Education and Skills   

The Problem is Jim
The Priest, the Doctor and the Engineer
Hard and Soft Skills
Formal Education   
   Continuing Education
   Corporate Memory
Constant Learning
Knowledge of Past Events
Professional Involvement
   Benefits of Networking
   Social Media Networks
Communication Skills  
   Conveying Bad News
Story Telling
   Process Safety Beacon
   Chemical Safety Board Videos
   Process Safety Moments   
   Why Stories Are Important 
   Story Outline
Team Management   
   People as Individuals
   People in Groups    
Litigation Support    
Project Management
The Resumé / CV
   Level of Detail
   Gaps / Negative Facts
   Multiple Resumés

Chapter 6
Industrial Experience

Not Taught in the Classroom   
Facility or Project Background 
Industrial Equipment and Instrumentation
Warning Flags Over Your Organization 
Flag #1 — Unrealistic Stretch Goals
   Production Creep    
   Production Records 
   Initiative Overload
Flag #2 — Excessive Cost Reduction
   Reduction of “Non-Essentials”
   Reductions in the Work Force 
   The “Big Crew Change”
   Flattened Organizations
   Aging Infrastructure
   Not Enough Time for Detailed Work
   Project Cutbacks
   Organizational Spread 
Flag #3 — Belief that “It Cannot Happen Here”
   Lack of Direct Experience
   Good Occupational Safety Performance
   Lack of Imaginative Thinking
   Failure to Learn from Near-Misses
   Failure to Draw on Experience Elsewhere   
Flag #4 — Over-Confidence Based on Rule Compliance
Flag #5 — Departmentalized Information Flow
   Critical Safety Information Is Buried, Lost or Diluted
   Team Player Culture
   Fear of Litigation
   Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures
Flag #6 — Ineffective Audit Processes
   Softened News to Senior Managers
   Failure to Identify Root Causes
   Inadequate Follow Up
   Process Safety Wisdom
   Maintaining Corporate Memory
   Mentoring Others

Chapter 7
Process Safety Engineering 

Piping and Instrument Diagrams (P&IDs)
Safety Data Sheets
Equipment Data Sheets
One Line Diagrams
Quality of Results
Response to the Calculation
Quality of the Results
Process Hazards Analysis
Vapor Dispersion
Fires and Explosions

Chapter 8
The Process Safety Consultant

Bang Bang
The Consultant as Outsider
Process Safety Consultants
True Expertise
Consultants — Not Doers
Client Relations
Cuts Gordian Knots
Quick Study
Role of the Client
Response to Criticism
Declining Experience

Chapter 9
The Future

Operational Excellence
Assessments — Not Audits
   Best Practices
   Assessment Questions
Artificial Intelligence 
   Application to Process Safety Management
   Knowledge Management
   Hazard Identification  
   Operating Procedures 
   Incident Investigation

Chapter 10
Net Zero

Net Zero by 2050  
An Age of Limits    
   Resource Depletion
   Biosphere Destruction
Direct Action
   Reduced Emissions
   Flaring / Venting
Planning for Natural Hazards
A Net Zero Grid
   A — Intermittent Energy
   B — Continuous Energy
   C — Storage
   D — Electrolysis
   E — Hydrogen / Ammonia
   F — Carbon Capture and Storage
   G — The Grid
   H — Transportation
   I — Industry  
   J — Biofuels 
   K — Refining

Works Cited 

The Process Safety Professional