ProjectAims and Description

Hazards of Loading/Unloading Operations
active
Started: 2016
Last met: Aug 2016
Chair: Oliver Dewaele

Loading and unloading operations of hazardous materials can result in hazardous releases of these materials if the risks related to these operations are not properly understood and managed. Errors during loading can also expose substances to residue or contaminants, and may lead to reactions between incompatible materials. The combination of the typical quantities of handled materials, the high dependence on human intervention, and, the likelihood of exposure in case of a release, emphasizes the need to fully understand and manage the associated risks.
Pharmaceuticals
active
Started: 2015
Last met: April 2017
Co-Chairs: Jörn Bernhard Buhn and Stephen McGrady

The pharmaceuticals sector provides some unusual challenges for process safety, with much use of batch production, frequent adaptation of plant design, and complex process requirements. This environment is not unique to drug manufacture, but it requires specific process safety expertise. The objective of this group is experience exchange relating to pharmaceutical industries or those operating with similar processes.
Semi-Quantitative Risk Evaluation Methods
active
Started: 2014
Last met: Jan 2017
Chair: Ulrich Hoercher

This group will share experience in using semi-quantitative risk evaluation and risk matrix methods to determine their general suitability for process industry in Europe.
Inherently Safer Design
complete
started 2014
Last met September 2015
leader: Konrad Fischer
EPSC staff: Theo Reindorp
The principles of inherently safer design are generally well understood, giving a preference for processes in which a hazard is limited or not present. Most companies follow principles of ISD, but with varying degrees of experience in the methods. EPSC is motivated to move the concept on by members sharing their methods, success stories, barriers and how they may be overcome, and assessment methods for degree of implementation and conformance with the principles.
Corrosion Under Insulation
complete
started 2013
Last met March 2015
leader: Paul de Bruyn
EPSC staff: Lee Allford
Undetected corrosion of assets has been a primary cause in incidents and near misses with potentially high consequence. The objective of this working group is to share knowledge and experience in the early detection of corrosion under insulation with an emphasis on current and emerging inspection technologies.
Process Safety Indicators
complete
started 2008
last met April 2015
leader: Piet Knijff
EPSC staff: Lee Allford
This group works towards global or Europe-wide standard forms for reporting process safety performance through incident data. The group also serves to provide guidance on leading indicators of measurably good safety behaviours.
Risk Acceptance Criteria
complete
started 2013
last met July 2014
leader: Klaus-Juergen Niemitz
EPSC staff: Christian Jochum
There is no common understanding of how ALARA, ALARP and other risk acceptance criteria have to be applied in cases of many facilities operating within a single park. Neighbouring facilities may belong to different legal entities, and the interfaces between these organisations have to be managed. The objective is to analyse how these problems are handled by EPSC members and to develop guidance for best practice.
Enhancing Hazard Identification
complete
started 2012
Last met November 2012
leader: Thomas Wolff
EPSC staff: Richard Gowland
The Atypical Scenarios group which reported in mid 2012 suggested that a greater role should be played by Process Hazard Analysis and other procedures. There is general agreement that enhancing Hazard Identification and incorporating the identified hazards into Risk Management is a worthwhile task. Identifying hazards earlier in the life cycle of a new project may be of benefit, but the techniques would also be applicable to existing facilities.
Risk Assessment Methods
complete
started 2013
last met June 2013
leader: Eberhard Guntrum
EPSC staff: Richard Gowland
Risk assessment is a requirement under the Seveso directive, but multiple methods are possible and specific requirements can vary by country. This group compares risk assessment methods to document their benefits and pitfalls, and to examine modern developments in these approaches.
Global Consistency
complete
started 2013
last met March 2013
leader: Ulrich Hansen
EPSC staff: Richard Gowland
The objective is to analyse how Process Safety Management can be consistently applied across an international organisation, taking into account different legal systems and legislative requirements, different cultures and languages, degrees of seperation from organisational leadership, and varying physical environments.
Scenarios
complete
started 2011
last met October 2011
leader: Hans Schwarz
EPSC staff: Richard Gowland
Scenarios refers to the development and evaluation of chains of events during a hazard analysis and risk assessment procedure. The Scenarios group is working to identify deficiencies in risk assessment that may be resolved with enhanced scenario development. "Worst case" scenarios are one such example, with risk assessment methods such as HAZOP giving more focus to higher probability events, scenario evaluations may be used to review less likely but higher consequence events.
Ageing Assets and Facilities
complete
started 2010
last met October 2011
leader: Eberhard Guntrum
EPSC staff: Richard Gowland
Ageing assets and facilities are a prominent current topic following recent attention to the subject by authorities in France. Ageing has been defined by CAs as deterioration of plant and equipment by gradual damage. This group examines the management of ageing equipment and planning for sustainable maintenance.
Process Safety Competence
complete
started 2010
last met August 2011
leader: Paul Delanoy
EPSC staff: Christian Jochum
This group studies the methods by which a company can maintain high levels of competence, through hiring, training, managing experience and awareness of critical skills.
Safety Critical Equipment
complete
started 2009
last met October 2011
leader: Dirk Roosendans
EPSC staff: Richard Gowland
This group shares information among members on systems for the defining, identifying, managing and maintaining of safety critical equipment. Examples of safety critical systems include relief and mitigation systems and mechanical integrity layers.
Process Safety Auditing
complete
started 2009
last met July 2010
leader: retired
EPSC staff: Lee Allford
This group examines process safety auditing, safety assurance visits, and similar validation or improvement strategies for ensuring the effectiveness of process safety management systems.
Senior Management DVD
complete
started 2008
last met March 2008
leader: Christian Jochum
EPSC staff: Christian Jochum
This group was tasked with creating a presentational film that could be used to foster support of process safety culture among senior management of high hazard industries. The work involved finding sponsors, commissioning filming and overseeing production of the presentation package.
Gas Detection
complete
started 2008
last met March 2008
leader: Guido Prinz
EPSC staff: Lee Allford
This group examined the use of fixed gas detection system for emergency prevention and mitigation purposes. Work has been on best use of detection systems to allow reliable detection of leaks and appropriate timely responses to detections.
Buncefield Aftermath
complete
started 2007
last met June 2009
leader: Richard Gowland
EPSC staff: Richard Gowland
The group working on the Buncefield Fuel Depot explosion has been merged with the Layers of Protection Analysis group to combine effort on applying LOPA and gap analysis to flammable materials storage facilities.
IEC61511
complete
started 2007
last met May 2009
leader: Richard Gowland
EPSC staff: Richard Gowland
The technical standard IEC61511 sets out good practice in the engineering of Safety Instrumented Systems. This working group studies the practical implementation of the standard.
ATEX Implementation
complete
started 2004
last met November 2007
leader: Richard Gowland
EPSC staff: Richard Gowland
The working group within the EPSC concerns the implementation of the European directive related to protection of workers in explosive atmospheres. The ATEX Directive is a framework for risk evaluation of gas and airborne dust explosion hazards.

EPSC Learning Sheet

The EPSC Learning Sheet is meant to stimulate discussion on important process safety topics at operational sites and to improve competency & awareness in a pleasant format. The latest topic is: condensate explosion.