Leading process safety managers

Leading process safety managers in SA include Nigel Coni, Neil Franklin, Bernhard Eigenhuis, Megan van der Scholtz, Francois Holtzhausen, Louise Lindeque, Dave Russell, and Neels Korf.

Short CVs of some process safety managers are summarised from a Responsible Care Process Safety workshop in Johannesburg and Durban in March 2010.

Nigel Coni

Nigel Coni,.process safety consultant at Ishecon, is a chemical engineer with 40 years of experience in the chemical industry, in design, project, production and consulting positions.

For 10 years he has worked as a safety, health and environmental consultant, specialising in safety risk assessments and environmental impact assessments of projects in the chemical processing industry.

Nigel is a past president of SAIChE, the South African Institution of Chemical Engineering, and also of IAIA SA, South African affiliate of the International Association for Impact Assessment.  He is chair of the Professional Advisory Committee for Chemical Engineering of the Engineering Council of South Africa.

Neil Franklin

Neil Franklin is a Safety Advisor at the Sasol SHE Centre in Rosebank, Johannesburg, specialising in occupational and behavioural safety. He logged 20 years of service in 2010. He was an apprentice instrument mechanic but soon got involved in safety management when he volunteered to be a health and safety representative.

After spending seven years as an artisan he transferred to the Sherq Department to head implementation of behaviour based safety throughout the Sasol Polymers Group, and later occupied positions as specialist, and eventually safety manager.

Franklin underwent is behavioural training in the UK and USA before being licensed by BST as an internal consultant, the first in South Africa. He conducted 24 implementations of a Behavioural Accident Prevention Process in plants around the country.

Neil holds a BTech degree in Safety Management from UNISA and is a regular speaker on injury prevention topics.

In a presentation titled ‘HUMAN BEHAVIOUR AND ITS IMPACT ON PROCESS SAFETY IN THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY’, Neil Franklin writes that process safety is largely viewed as a very technical system that lies in the domains of engineering.

However, while fundamentally proper design and integrity of facilities is key to preventing process safety incidents, data still shows the causes to be a combination of technical and, in most cases, human factors.

Franklin stresses the importance of managing human interface with technology in the prevention of process safety incidents.

Bernhard Eigenhuis

Bernhard Eigenhuis is a chemical engineer and currently Process Safety Manager at Sasol Technology. He lectured at Stellenbosch University prior to joining Sasol and has worked in Sasol Technology and the Sasol Corporate office for 11 years in various SHEQ positions.

Bernhard has chaired and presented as guest speaker at the Oil in Gas Conference on PSM in Aberdeen, Scotland, as well as at the University of Cape Town and at various CAIA workshops.

Bernhard holds an MBA from University of Southern Queensland, Australia; masters in Environmental Management (cum laude), masters of Engineering, and two doctoral degrees.

His current focus is on the expansion of PSM in the project environment as applied to major international and local projects.

In a presentation titled ‘PRESSURE EQUIPMENT REGULATIONS; CLASSIFICATION OF HAZARDOUS CHEMICAL SUBSTANCES’, Bernhard Eigenhuis writes that chemical classification forms a part of hazard assessment and is a requirement of Process Safety Information.

The new Pressure Equipment Regulations triggered a review of the approach to hazardous chemical classification in the Sasol Technology project environment. Various Acts, codes and standards are relevant, including SANS 347 and 10228.

Megan van der Scholtz

Megan van der Scholtz is a process engineer at the Omnia Group. Megan has two years of experience in providing technical support to various production facilities in the fertiliser and explosives industry, as well as in process development and plant design.

She has been in charge of commissioning an ammonium nitrate calcium nitrate plant in Dryden. She has done process design for a new plant and has been involved in plant layout, control philosophy and trip logics.

Megan has worked together with international design company KBR to patent the new technology. She has played a vital role in procuring major equipment units the new plant she designed.

Megan has facilitated numerous Hazop and operability studies, and has been involved in baseline risk assessments. Megan completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town.

In a presentation on ‘CHEMICAL COMPATIBILITY CHARTS AS A PROCESS SAFETY TOOL’, Megan van der Scholtz writes that keeping operations safe from reactive chemical hazards requires continuous attention.

Historical reactive chemical incidents demonstrate that chemical facilities could use chemically reactive materials and systems without knowing the relevant hazards posed.

Some operators are aware of relevant hazards, but fail to put into place adequate safeguards. Although controls for individual materials may be in place, the potential for major incidents exist if materials are inadvertently combined.

Megan focuses on handling of reactive materials and the prevention of reactive interactions, as well as data and safeguards needed to control these hazards. The importance of chemical compatibility and the use of chemical compatibility charts as a process safety tool are discussed.

Francois Holtzhausen

Francois Holtzhausen is process safety advisor at Sasol SHE Centre, a chemical engineer, and obtained his degree at the University of the Witwatersrand. He later completed MBA studies at the University of the North West.

Francois started his career working with AECI, in production management for five years. He joined the NCP plant in Chloorkop, which was part of the Sentrachem group, as a project manager, and was involved in design and construction of several plants, and expansion of plants, on various sites in South Africa.

Francois later moved back into production and was eventually appointed operations manager and site leader.

During 1997 the Dow Chemical company took over the Sentrachem Group. Following Six Sigma training, Francois joined the Dow Six Sigma team, problem solving facilitators focusing on plant and logistics optimisation. He presented a paper on Six Sigma in 2003 at the IQPC conference.

During 2001 Dow implemented process safety standards at its facillities in South Africa. Francois was appointed to lead this effort and was appointed as process safety technology leader. He interfaced with the global Dow process safety team of 25 members working in all parts of the world, and was exposed to the latest thinking and training in process safety.

Francois joined Sasol in 2006 as process safety advisor. He was involved in the writing and implementation out of a set of process safety standards, procedures and tools for the Sasol group. He represents Sasol at the European Process Safety Centre (EPSC).

Francois led a Sasol team to develop and implement a process safety lagging indicator of performance, named FER Severity Index.

In a presentation on ‘PROCESS SAFETY INDICATORS OF PERFORMANCE’, Francois Holtzhausen writes that, following the explosion at the BP Texas City refinery in 2005, the Baker Panel of investigators concluded: “BP used injury rates to monitor process safety performance…. [which] gave misleading information, and was not effectively monitoring process safety performance.”

In order to manage process safety activities, one needs to measure performance, and whether systems and procedures are working. Measuring the results of significant incidents is not a suitable indicator of performance.

Louise Lindeque

Louise Lindeque is Responsible Care Manager at the Chemical and Allied Industries Association, CAIA. She has a background in inorganic chemistry and a masters degree in Organo-metallic Chemistry from the former Rand Afrikaans University.

She was a senior lecturer at the Technikon Witwatersrand (now part of the University of Johannesburg) where she lectured organic, inorganic and instrumental chemistry. She was also a member of the Carbon Nano-material Research Group at the Technikon.

Louise is co-author of five articles in internationally recognised scientific journals and presented scientific papers at local conferences.

The focus of her work shifted to environmental issues when she joined Afrox in 2003. She was Business Unit Africa Occupational Health and Environmental Manager for five and a half years.

Her work included the design and implementation of a corporate environmental and occupational health management system, and preparation for ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certification. Development and implementation of corporate environmental and occupational health standards formed an integral part of her work.

CAIA has developed a number of instruments to entrench process safety management as a core value in the chemicals industry in South Africa.

The Responsible Care Process Safety Forum provides the opportunity for members to assist one another by sharing best practice and pooling resources, and especially benefits smaller companies who don’t have the necessary resources for training. The Forum keeps CAIA members informed about Process Safety issues and resources and provides the mechanism for leaders to take part in appropriate networks to share relevant process safety information and develop skills.

Dave Russell

Dave Russell is a director at Ardeer Engineering, a company providing process engineering, mechanical engineering, project management, engineering and consulting services to chemical process and related industries.

Dave has 35 years of work experience in the chemicals industry.  He graduated as a mechanical engineer from Wits University in 1975 and joined AECI.  He spent 12 years, including a two year secondment to ICI in the UK, in maintenance and operations, before moving into project engineering and project management at AECI Engineering.

Following the closure of AECI Engineering in 1999, Dave and six colleagues started Ardeer Engineering as a management buyout of the Process and Project Divisions of AECI Engineering.

Dave has participated in numerous technical and due diligence audits of production facilities for several large chemicals manufacturing companies. He has worked in management positions in operations as well as projects.

Dave is a registered Professional Engineer, a Member of the SA Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and has a Government Certificate of Competency relevant to factories.

In a presentation on mechanical integrity, Russell covers the importance of containment for safe, reliable and efficient operation of process plants. He also focuses on reasons and mechanisms that lead to mechanical failures and design and maintenance strategies to assure mechanical integrity. Dave advises operators to learn from failures on other plants.

Neels Korf

Neels Korf is an engineer and improvement specialist at Dow Agro Sciences. He has several years experience in projects management, process design and process development.

Neels is experienced in process safety reviews and is currently responsible for plant improvements and process safety management. Neels holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Pretoria University.

In a review of major industrial accidents and findings, Korf coaches multi-disciplinary groups to discuss root causes of major incident, and to devise possible corrective actions within their fields.

During a feedback session, findings should be discussed and summarised in a site group, and the group should present identified root causes of a real incident, or a potential incident.

PHOTO; Process safety manager Megan van der Scholtz.



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