Aspate of chemical disasters around the world seems to be the norm these days. Is it the in-crease in reporting, control or a worsening attitude toward safety? It may be any or all of these and more. Process safety management (PSM) came into the picture in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including OSHA’s PSM rule in 1992 (Table 1). A PSM sys-tem contains elements for preventing or minimizing the consequences of catastrophic release of toxic, reactive, inflammable or explosive chemicals.
PSM at Essar Oil n India, PSM is still in its developmental stages. The major players providing guidance include American Petroleum Institute (API), Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), American Institute of Chemical Engineers, DuPont, OSHA and U.K.’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In its journey toward world-class refining standards, Essar Oil Ltd. embraced international safety standards. Starting at a highly competitive production of 3 lakh (300,000) barrels per day, management envisioned the importance of PSM and emphasized its implementation at the refinery. Since its inception, PSM has been implemented as a comprehensive management program integrating technology, procedure and management practices.
Essar set up a PSM cell as part of the Health-Safety-Environment-Fire Department and began integrating PSM elements in 2010. Implementation of these elements has been complete in the base units. With the refinery’s expanded production nearing 4 lakh (400,000) barrels per day, PSM implementation and monitoring have received a renewed focus. Essar’s PSM framework encompasses 13 elements (Figure 1, p. 46):
1) employee participation;
2) process safety information (PSI);
3) process hazard analysis (PHA);
4) operating procedures;
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