, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 756-779

Inherent safety evaluation in process plants— a comparison of methodologies

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Abstract

A global population increase and an improved standard of living are generally expected. To meet these demands, an increased production of chemicals will be necessary while protecting human health and the environment. However, most current methods of chemical production are unsustainable. New designs must result in plants that assure process and operator safety, the sustained health of workers and the community, and the protection of the environment. Traditional safety precautions and process controls minimize risk but cannot guarantee the prevention of accidents followed by serious consequences. Therefore, the general approach to environmental and safety problems must be changed from reactive to proactive. One way is to further develop the concept of inherent safety.

In this paper some methods for inherent safety evaluations are reviewed. The aim of the study is to analyze the different tools available for inherent safety evaluation and identify the most important criteria in determining the inherent safety of a process plant. A model is proposed to show the interactions of different factors on the inherent safety level of a process and the model is illustrated by a case study.