Process Plant Safety

Major incidents in the process industries like the Piper Alpha disaster in the UK, the Bhopal gas tradgedy in India, and the Texas City refinery explosion in the USA, and a host of more minor though just as tragic incidents have all highlighted the necessity of having a disciplined framework for the design, operation and maintenance of operating systems and processes that handle hazardous substances. This disciplined framework is called "Process Safety".

Process safety focuses on preventing fires, explosions and accidental release of process fluids. Instrument engineers and designers play a major part in Process Safety. They need to be aware of, and use the many practices employed in providing systems that ensure the safety of an industrial process through the use of instrumentation.

Examples of these practices include a method of analysing and classifying the environment where explosive gas atmospheres may occur, known as hazardous area classification; the ignition and explosion prevention techniques as outlined in the ATEX directive; the use of over pressure devices like pressure relief valves and rupture disks; and the intricacies of the Pressure Equipment Directive.



Technical Library

The pages listed in our Technical Library below provide an insight into just some of the process safety related topics that are daily considerations for instrument engineers:


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Technical Bookshop

For those who want to delve further into a specific area of plant safety, or just want to broaden their knowledge of the many considerations that have to be taken in designing a safe instrument and control system, then the following books from Amazon will be of interest: