Industry Process Safety: Major Accident Risk Assessment

Industry Process Safety: Major Accident Risk Assessment

Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 35
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3059-7.ch005
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This chapter deals with the issue of process safety in industrial companies and major accident prevention. In the present-day technologically advanced world, industrial accidents appear ever more frequently, and the field of major accident prevention has become a dynamically developing discipline. With accelerating technical progress, risks of industrial accidents are to be reduced. In the first part, possible approaches to quantitative risk assessment are presented; and continuing it focuses on the system of risk management in industrial establishments. This chapter aims at providing experiences, knowledge, as well as new approaches to the prevention of major accidents caused by the implementation of the Seveso III Directive.
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Process safety focuses on preventing fires, explosions and accidental chemical releases in chemical process facilities or other facilities dealing with hazardous materials. Process safety considers a wide range of technical, management and operational disciplines coming together in an organized way. Main focus is on design and engineering of facilities, maintenance of equipment, effective alarms, effective control points, procedures and training. Process safety generally refers to the prevention of unintentional releases of chemicals, energy, or other potentially dangerous materials during the course of chemical processes. The consequences of so call major-accident can have a serious effect to the plant and environment.

By Seveso III Directive (Seveso, 2012) ‘major accident’ means an occurrence such as a major emission, fire, or explosion resulting from uncontrolled developments in the course of the operation of any establishment covered by this Directive, and leading to serious danger to human health or the environment, immediate or delayed, inside or outside the establishment, and involving one or more dangerous substances.

In the world, a number of major accidents have occurred; to the best known of them, FEYZIN (France – 1966), FLIXBOROUGH (Great Britain – 1974), SEVESO (Italy – 1976), BHÓPÁL (India – 1984), HOUSTON (USA – 1989), and others belong. The majority of significant accidents are described in the specialized literature in detail, see e.g. (Lees, 2005). Information on major accidents taking place in the countries of European Union is collected in the Joint Research Centre, MAHB (Major Accident Hazards Bureau) in Italian Ispra. The Major Accident Reporting System (eMARS) was established to handle the information on major accidents submitted by Member States of the European Union to the European Commission in accordance with the provisions of the Seveso Directive (eMars, 2019). Currently, eMARS holds data on more than 980 major accident events (by September 2019, see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

Numbers of EU major-accidents in database eMARS (eMARS, 2019)


Key Terms in this Chapter

Risk: Combination of consequences and probabilities of undesirable event.

Risk Assessment: Hazard identification and consequence and probability assessment process that determines the level of risk.

Hazard: The potential of a physical situation or a chemical to cause harm to human health, property or the environment.

Process Safety: It deals with the prevention of major accidents in technologies where dangerous chemical substances occur.

Major Accident: An emergency event such as an explosion, fire or leakage of a toxic substance in an industrial plant that causes death or personal injury, property damage or environmental contamination.

Safety Barriers: Risk reduction measures that may be a technical and organizational nature.

Risk Management: An overall risk management process involving both risk assessment and risk reduction through technical and organizational barriers.

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