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Driving Continuous Process Safety Improvement From Investigated Incidents

 Driving Continuous Process Safety Improvement From Investigated Incidents


Driving Continuous Process Safety Improvement From Investigated Incidents


Nearly everything we do today, as we manage process safety to prevent losses of primary containment that result in fires, explosions, and toxic releases, we do because of conditions that led to past incidents. Our engineering forebears began building the modern practice of process safety at the beginning of the
industrial revolution. Subsequent generations have steadily advanced process safety.

For example, when E.I. DuPont built a black powder works in Delaware, USA, in 1802, he took note of the explosions that had happened in other black powder works. To protect his workers, family, and property, his process buildings were constructed of thick stone, with blow-out walls aimed away from people and buildings (Klein 2009).

Similarly, Sir Humphrey Davy noted the large number of coal dust explosions in English mines in the early nineteenth century (Gibbs 2020). After talking to miners who survived such explosions, he designed an explosion-proof lamp based on principles still used today in flame arrestors and explosion-proof electrical boxes In 1880, H.R. Worthington, A.L. Holley, and J.E. Sweet founded the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to create uniform engineering standards that would ensure safety, reliability, and efficiency (ASME 2020).


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