Chemical Process Safety

Learning from Case Histories


  • Roy E. Sanders, Chemical Engineer and freelance Process Safety Consultant
  • Roy E. Sanders, Chemical Engineer and freelance Process Safety Consultant

Gives insight into eliminating specific classes of hazards, while providing real case histories with valuable messages. There are practical sections on mechanical integrity, management of change, and incident investigation programs, along with a long list of helpful resources. New chapter in this edition covers accidents involving compressors, hoses and pumps.
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Employees of the chemical manufacturing industries, petroleum refineries, specialty chemical industries, engineering companies and consultants who serve the chemical and petroleum industries, and academics interested in including process safety into their curriculums.


Book information

  • Published: October 2004
  • ISBN: 978-0-7506-7749-3


"Given his extensive background in an industrial setting as a team leader at the PPG Chlor-Alkali Plant in Louisiana and the safety course that he taught for AIChE with the well-known safety expert Trevor Kletz, the quantity of information of a practical nature contained in this book is not surprising." - Gary Bennett, Journal of Hazardous Materials "This third edition has been updated and expanded and offers major improvements. Five chapters have been expanded including up-to-date statistics and incidents. There is also more on nitrogen asphyxiation and new case histories. This edition also contains a brand new chapter covering chemical plant accidents involving compressors, and hoses, and pumps. Many new, useful references that can be found on websites and other sources have been added. All of the chapters contain numerous references citing the origin of an idea, an incident, or a regulation discussed in that chapter. Also, most chapters contain many figures and photographs illustrating the conditions that caused the accidents and/or results of the accidents described. The many case histories can also be used as a sort of check list for potential accident causes to look for when performing a process hazard analysis. In my opinion, this is an outstanding book that will be useful to any engineer involved with process safety/loss prevention, process design, project engineering, process operations, and chemical plant maintenance. The price of the book is also very reasonable, making it affordable for almost everyone." - Stanley S. Grossel, Journal of Loss Prevention, March 2005 The third edition, recently published is further enlarged and is nearly twice as long as the first edition. The accounts of the individual incidents are brief, to the point and well-illustrated and should convince the most diehard engineer that no plant or process should be changed until there has been a systematic search for unforeseen hazards. The more trivial and harmless the change seems, the more important it is to look for the snags. The book is not one of those made by cutting and pasting the investigators’ original reports. Roy, an experienced investigator. has rewritten the original accounts, leaving out facts of only local interest and making the essential messages clear. Descriptions of procedures alone never convinced anybody to do anything, a point often overlooked by those who describe them in books and conference papers. The best way to convince people is to describe, as Roy does, the results of not following the procedures or recognized good practice. Many companies are now publishing fewer case histories than they did twenty years ago, as with staff reductions employees have less time to prepare material for publication but also because many company lawyers advise against publication. Roy and his employer believe that if we have knowledge that can prevent accidents we have a duty to share it and we should thank them for doing so. The only reward Roy asks for is that we learn from his case histories and stop them happening again. Many of the modifications he describes were deceptively simple, changes to the vent on a storage tank, for example, but resulted in death, injury or serious damage... you do not need any advanced knowledge to benefit from Roy's book; it is one for the foreman, the operator and the mechanic as well as the graduate engineer. Buy copies for your control room and workshop as well as one for your office and if you have the first edition it is time to replace by the third edition. However, expecting people to read and remember the book is not enough. The incidents should be discussed to determine if they could happen on your plant and, if so, what has been or should be done to prevent them happening. ." - Trevor Kletz - Author of What Went Wrong and Still Going Wrong

Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments1. Perspective, Perspective, Perspective2. Good Intentions3. Focusing on Water and Steam: The Ever-Present and Sometimes Evil Twins4. Preparation for Maintenance5. Maintenance-Induced Accidents and Process Piping Problems6. One-Minute Modifications: Small Quick Changes in a Plant Can Create Bad Memories7. Accidents Involving Compressors, Hoses, and Pumps8. Failure to Use, Consult, or Understand Specificiations9. “Imagine If” Modifications and Practical Problem Solving10. The Role of Mechanical Integrity in Chemical Process Safety11. Effectively Managing Change Within the Chemical Industry12. Investigating and Sharing Near Misses and Unfortunate Incidents13. Sources of Helpful Information for Chemical Process SafetyIndex