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December 6, 2010

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New process-safety study for chemicals industry

Risk-management specialist HFL Risk Services has partnered with Chemical Industries Association and the National Skills Academy to launch a study into process safety management in the high-hazard industries.

Launched last month, the programme involves site representative from a cross-section of the chemicals industry. The study aims to analyse how sites are performing against best-practice guidelines, and identify common areas of difficulties.

Each site will undergo an assessment of its asset-integrity management systems using HFL’s Insight Lifecycle auditing and assessment tool, which contains 20 sets of questions designed to pinpoint areas for improvement. Questions are based on the Center for Chemical Process Safety’s guidance for risk-based process safety, as well as HS(G)65 on ‘Successful Health and Safety Management’.

The process is said to encourage a systematic review of the application of the guidance in relation to: the chemical process; plant and equipment; people; and procedural systems.

Following the audit, HFL will present the findings to the group of site representatives. The company’s managing director, Julian Hought, said: “One of the key elements of ensuring low levels of risk at COMAH sites is to identify safety-critical elements and build a comprehensive and effective process-safety management system.

“This benchmarking programme is designed to bring customers together to share experience and best practice across a wide cross-section of industry. Collectively, they need to address all of the HSE’s hot topics, of which process safety management is an integral part. I think that all parties involved will find the exercise illuminating.”

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