Process safety subjects in university training

The Process Safety Forum, PSF, will ask SA universities to include process safety training content in engineering, chemistry, and related courses curriculi.

Employers and specialists in process industries were surveyed in July 2010 on the required content and level of training, by the PSF, under the auspices of the Chemicals and Allied Industries Association, CAIA.

The subject content listed for rating in the survey, are;

Process Safety Management System Elements
HAZOP, basic process risk management tool
Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA)
Safety and process plant management
Permit to Work
Managing change safely (MOC)
Hazard indices
Preliminary hazard analysis
Failure modes and effects analysis
Event tree analysis
Fault tree analysis
Principles of safety engineering
Safe Plant design computational modelling
Process hazard analysis
Systematic Assessment of Reactive Chem Hazards
Chemical hazard assessment and the prevention of runaway reactions, including emergency relief design
Hazardous area classification
Understanding and Preventing Explosions
Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA)
Safety Integrity Verification (SIL) verification
Fundamentals of loss prevention
Mechanical integrity for process safety and risk management
Compliance auditing for process safety
Fire safety management

Respondents added further subjects or modules that they believed to be important to engineering and chemistry graduates.

In a related initiative, to align tertiary training with industrial risk and health and safety management practice, letters requesting Responsible Care contact with universities were sent to the engineering departments at 11 universities, and five positive responses were received.

Process safety training list

A Process Safety Training Working Group of the PSF had completed framework list of available specialised training, including local and international service providers, and relevant courses offered.

The framework lists courses according to subject, customisation, internet media, in-house licensing options, public courses, process safety training videos, and real life case studies.

ERM was approached for costing to develop process safety training material for CAIA, and the ERM MD recommended that Mike Rose’s closed corporation, Clova Business Solutions, take on the project, to reduce the cost of developing training material.

Clova Business Solutions supplied a costing for three training courses; basic, advanced and auditor level.

Process safety auditors listed

A list of recommended process safety auditors reveal that few qualified and experienced auditors specialised in process safety. The forum recommended that the training of process safety auditors be a high priority, based on a systems approach, and including technical and engineering aspects.

Qualifications of auditors would be assessed prior to recommendation for process safety audits. Companies that are prepared to host visits by thee additional auditors currently in specialised training, should contact the forum.

Chemicals store planning

Forum chairman Bernhard Eigenhuis presented a CCPS reactivity tool for chemical store and warehouse planning. The tool is posted at

The forum shares learning from real life incidents, on a voluntary and anonymous basis. Incident information is formulated according to a standard incident template.

Masindi Netsianda presented a guide on handling of hazardous work permits at the PSF meeting in May, and the guide was circulated to forum members and interested SHEQ practitioners.

MHI update

A tripartite Technical Committee reviewing the Major Hazard Installation (MHI) Regulations is making slow progress. CAIA is steering the review into a practical approach.

Simplified regulations supported by SANS standards could be expected. There will be a public comment period before promulgation.

A comparative study was done at a two day workshop where the COMAH, Australian, USA and SA regulations were compared, and the COMAH system was agreed to be the most appropriate to adopt in SA.

A three tier system would apply; non MHI, low level MHI, and high level MHI, with threshold quantities defined for various materials.

The aggregation principle would apply where several different materials with different containers were on one site.

Consultant Nigel Coni no longer represents business on the Technical Committee, and CAIA will propose a replacement.

Process Safety group in Durban

A process safety interest group in Durban was proposed, to align with the national Process Safety Forum. A survey was conducted to determine the level of interest of CAIA members in the Durban area in such a group, and a meeting was set up with interested parties.

A recent Process Safety workshop in Johannesburg was attended by 64 delegates and a Durban workshop by 78 delegates, indicating lively interest in process safety management in KZN province. Topics were suggested by delegates for future workshops.

* The next PSF meeting is on 19 August 2010 at 12:00 at the CAIA office in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.

* Responsible Care Process Safety Workshop presentations are available from the CAIA website on

Process safety training events

Aug 10 Shell official on ‘Leadership in difficult times’, addressed by Bonang Mohale, Shell SA chairman and vice president, at Hyatt Regency Hotel, Rosebank, Johannesburg; 011 807 4724,

Aug 31 -Sep 2 IFSEC SA Securex; security, fire, protection, health and safety, largest pan-African security event, including Security Industry Alliance (SIA) annual conference; Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, 10am to 5pm daily; or

Aug 23-26 Process Safety course by UK Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), in SA, Gauteng province; for process safety management professionals and industrial line managers in chemicals, petrochemicals, and process industries. Development of the course involved BP, Ineos and the UK HSE, including human factors and global standards compliance guide. A number of case studies are used and a delegate assessment is carried out for confirmation of competency. Led by Ian Thorpe; Rod Prior on, 0825540010

Sep 20-23 Non-Destructive Testing conference by IIR, including safety and environmental effects of chemical NDT, ultrasonic testing techniques, optical testing technology, certification of training and NDT personnel, detecting and calculating specific failure mechanisms in pipelines, efficient methods of examining welds. At Garden Court hotel, OR Tambo international airport, Kempton Park; 011 771 7210, fax 011 788 4944, fax to email 0866354395, or visit

Nov 1 -5 Handling, Storage and Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Hazardous Substances; Centre for Environmental Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom; 018 299 2714,

Dec 5 -9 Analitika conference, at Stellenbosch University; 021 938 9245,

PHOTO; The process industry includes major hazards, which process safety managers study in order to eliminate, reduce and manage.

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