Improving employee safety at a chemical manufacturing plant

Knovel helps an engineer discover hazards and recommend improved safety measures

A large chemical company assigned an engineer to assess the safety of a manufacturing facility where hazardous chemicals were handled in confined spaces. The engineer used Knovel to surface insights on potential chemical and fire hazards, which she used to recommend safety improvements that the company has implemented in many of its facilities.

Improving Employee Safety - Knovel | Elsevier


A multinational company operates a number of large production facilities, producing chemicals such as polyolefin, olefins and catalysts for polyethylene, polypropylene and polybutylene. Many of these manufacturing processes involve toxic chemicals that could pose health risks to employees. The company assigned a process and management engineer to improve the safety of one of its facilities. The engineer was tasked with performing a review of the facility’s confined spaces, scoring the hazard level of each area and developing standard procedures for addressing potential safety issues.


The engineer began by researching the chemical processes used in the facility. To obtain quantitative analyses of each process, she turned to Knovel. She quickly located Lees’ Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, an industry-standard manual on hazard identification and control.

With these practical insights in hand, the engineer then used Knovel to obtain breakdowns of each process, as well as CAS registry numbers and safety data sheets. Using Knovel Critical Tables, she performed searches on each chemical’s heat capacity, thermal conductivity and reaction thermodynamics. Critical Tables precisely plotted the chemicals’ temperature correlation relationships, providing safe operation parameters for each piece of equipment in the facility.

Obtain quantitative analyses [quote 1] - Knovel | Elsevier

To obtain quantitative analyses of each process used, she turned to Knovel because it enables faster search, relevant search targeting and easy navigation.


As a result of her research using Knovel, the engineer successfully created a detailed matrix of risk evaluations associated with specific areas in the plant. This matrix enabled her to target opportunities for improvement within the CCPS and AICHE guidelines and to provide a platform for future expansion of the model. This successful assessment led to similar analyses and improvements in other company facilities.

Steel mills Smoke and powder dust pollution in industrial District royalty-free stock photo | Elsevier

This successful assessment led to similar analyses and improvements in other company facilities.

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