The following articles provide information to do with the safe design and operation of process facilities.

Additional information is provided in the topic area of Risk.


Copyright © Ian Sutton. 2018. All Rights Reserved.


Not the Whole Truth

Safety professionals are rightly making increasing use of photographs and videos to train and educate the workforce, and to analyze incidents. In particular, security cameras often provide a fine record of an event as it unfolds.

However, it is important to be careful. Not only can images be deliberately changed, but the camera may not record everything of relevance. The following set of pictures was taken by a process safety professional who was visiting the Grand Canyon as a tourist. So, there is no doubt as to their legitimacy.

Safety Moment #7: No One There

A contractor was dewatering a 10 mile section of pipe after a hydrostatic test. He was using a foam pig that was pushed along by compressed air to displace the water. The water was removed from a 12" bypass line. The pig got stuck somewhere in the line it was decided to increase the pressure on the upstream side of the pig to 400 psig (28 barg). Downstream of the restriction the line was open, as shown. The differential force on the pig was almost 0.5 million pounds (2,200 kilonewtons).

With that kind of force behind it the pig was going to move.

Safety Moment #8: “But We’re Different, You Know”

Process safety consultants usually find themselves working for a range of different companies and industries. (This variety is one of the most satisfying aspects of the work.) And, wherever they work the run across the statement, “But we’re different, you know”. What the speaker is saying is that his or her particular industry is so special that the professionals in it have little to learn from other industries regarding process safety.