Building the Foundations of Process Safety in Design

Fig. 1—Origin of flaws in capital projects based on company analysis.

The maximum level of process-safety performance an operational asset can attain is set indelibly in the early stages of a project. This is why it is crucial to lay a solid foundation for process safety during design. Before embarking on front-end engineering design (FEED) of the Al Karaana petrochemical project, a behavior-based process-safety program was created with the aim of entrenching process safety in the hearts and minds of design engineers and positively influencing behaviors. The nine foundations of projects process safety form the cornerstone of the program.

Dangers Concealed in Design

Over the past several decades, industry attentiveness to asset integrity and process safety has progressed. The advancement of industry codes and standards and governmental regulations improving the prescriptive minimum requirements in facility design has served to elevate the general level of asset process-safety performance.

On an industrywide basis, during the 20th century, process-safety improvement was influenced initially by fundamental regulations and subsequently by technology, management-system implementation, and more-refined codes and regulations, which have served to improve the performance of process safety.

However, little comfort can be taken from this general improvement; the continued occurrence of catastrophic incidents is a stark reminder that further strides need to be made.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 170442, “Building the Foundations of Process Safety in Design,” by James Jessup, SPE, Julian Barlow, Damian Peake, and Manoj Pillai, Shell Global Solutions, prepared for the 2014 SPE Middle East Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainable Development Conference and Exhibition, Doha, Qatar, 22–24 September. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Building the Foundations of Process Safety in Design

01 August 2015

Volume: 67 | Issue: 8


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