The 2022 Spring Meeting and 18th Global Congress on Process Safety welcomed attendees to San Antonio on April 10-14. The event brought together process safety professionals and chemical engineers from around the world to examine the implementation and challenges of PSM (Process Safety Management) across the chemical industry.
This event from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) event marks the largest gathering of process safety professionals, with thousands of participants each year. AIChE has over 60,000 members who are experts in their field, from more than 100 countries,
This year’s meeting featured a broad spectrum of topics from digital information management to carbon management and petrochemical production processes.
Process safety in the chemical industry
Process safety management in the chemical industry has been an ongoing challenge to ensure its proper implementation. It’s a systematic approach to managing hazards associated with the process industries. PSM includes a range of practices including management commitment, employee participation, hazard review and analysis, operating procedures, maintenance, and training.
Because of its importance, process safety management should be an everyday thought, not an ad hoc consideration. Only then, we can talk about achieving continuous improvement.
Some challenges to address in process safety management are:
- Many times, a company tries to standardize its own process safety management around its most complex process. This might not be feasible for other processes in its portfolio with different characteristics and risk profiles.
- Companies have different interpretations of the same regulation, and sometimes the lack of uniformity might lead to an unsafe situation.
- Legislation is often fragmented and not harmonized at an international level.
2022 Spring Meeting and 18th Global Congress on process safety program
The Spring Meeting and 18th Global Congress addressed the challenges stated above through various symposiums. Their Annual Loss Prevention Symposium discussed new developments and solutions for identifying hazards and managing risks. The Process Plan Safety Symposium focused on different methods and tools such as process safety management software that can be helpful for the workforce in the plant.
The Center for Chemical Process Safety International Conference talked about the leading process safety management practices across the globe, while the Process Safety Management Mentoring Forum covered tools, techniques, and lessons learned from mentors, for professionals who might have recently joined the industry.
Importance of process safety management events
The chemical industry is one of the most important sectors in the world, given the number of vital materials it produces. However, it’s also an industry that is subject to significant regulation due to the potential dangers involved. Hazards exist at every step in the process, from manufacturing and storage to distribution and disposal.
Events like the 2022 Spring Meeting are extremely valuable for players in the field to get together and share their expertise for continuous improvement. Through a competent process safety management program, companies can manage their risks more effectively, preventing accidents and mitigating their effects when they do occur.