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a report on safety in process plant



As chemical process technology becomes more complex, Chemical Engineers will need a more detailed and fundamental understanding of safety for a proper handling of a chemical process. The growth of an industry is totally dependent on technological advances. This is essentially true in the chemical industry, which is entering an Era of more complex processes: Higher pressure, more reactive chemicals, and Exotic chemistry.  More complex processes require more complex safety technology. Many industrialists even believe that the development and application of safety technology is actually a constraint on the growth of the chemical industry.

Safety is an act of preventing accidents through the use of appropriate technologies to identify the hazards and eliminate them before an accident occurs.

Safety in a chemical process is an act of preventing fires, explosions and accidental chemical releases in process facilities or other facilities dealing with hazardous materials, such as refineries, and oil and gas (onshore and offshore) production installations. Process safety involves the prevention of leaks, spills, equipment malfunction, over – pressures, over – temperatures, corrosion, metal fatigue and other similar conditions. Chemical plants contain a large variety of hazards. There are mechanical hazards that cause worker injuries from tripping, falling, or moving equipment. There are also chemical hazards which include fire and explosion hazards, reactivity hazards, and toxic hazards.

Process safety generally refers to the prevention of unintentional release of chemicals, energy or other potentially dangerous materials (including steam) during the course of chemical processes that can have a serious effect to the plant and environment.

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It is important to distinguish between products that meet standards that are safe and those that merely feel safe. The highway community uses these terms:

  • Normative Safety: The Normative safety is achieved when a product or design meets applicable standards and practices for design and construction or manufacture, regardless of the product’s actual safety history.
  • Substantive Safety: Substantive or objective safety occurs when the real – world safety history is favorable, whether or not standards are met.
  • Perceived Safety: Perceived or Subjective safety refers to the user’s level of risk, without consideration of standards or safety history.
  • Security: This is also called social or public safety and it addresses the risk of harm due to intentional criminal acts such as assault, burglary or vandalism.

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