Our White Papers

Download our white papers in PDF format and stay informed on managing and reducing episodic risk, maintaining compliance and preventing catastrophic incidents.

    On October 18, 2007, OSHA published a directive for inspection of workplaces that create or handle combustible dusts. On March 3, 2008, OSHA reissued this directive “to increase its enforcement activities and to focus on specific industry groups that have experienced either frequent combustible dust incidents or combustible dust incidents with catastrophic consequences.”
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    A detailed risk-based approach is proposed for addressing flammable and toxic dispersions impacting occupied buildings.
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    QRA as a technique for managing and understanding risks dates back to the 1970s, initially applied in the aerospace, electronics, and nuclear power industries.
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    Challenges associated with PRV stability issues for existing installations are not unique to any particular segment of the chemical process industry. This is an industry wide problem that has received a lot of attention from both OSHA and industry associations such as API, ACC, and AFPM.
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    In this paper we provide a simplified model for the assessment of PRV stability where the inlet line geometry is simple and/or where the inlet line acoustic length can be established.
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    As a result of increasing steam flow rates, several boiling water reactor (BWR) nuclear power plants have recently experienced the excitation of acoustic standing waves in closed side branches, e.g., safety relief valves (SRVs), due to vortex shedding generated by steam flow in the main stream lines.
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    An independent and accurate estimation of the speed of sound can provide an important quality check for a multitude of single and multi-phase flow applications. More recently, proposed screening methods for the calculation of PRV stability require an accurate estimate of the speed of sound for the fluid/piping system.
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    Even before the adoption of ISA-S84.01 as a national standard, safety instrumented systems (SIS) were used to mitigate the risks of process hazards. With the establishment of the standard, there is now a framework for defining Safety Integrity Levels (SIL) for such systems and the associated reliability requirements. However, the standard does not address the topic of how to determine what SIL category is needed to fill the independent layers of protection (IPL) gap. It assumes (section 4.4.2) that this analysis is performed prior to applying the principles of the standard.
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    Ever since OSHA implemented their National Emphasis Program in 2007, facility’s pressure relief systems design basis have come under increasing scrutiny. Recognizing that they may not be fully compliant, many companies are conducting audits of their relief systems design basis to determine their current state, identify gaps, and establish a path forward for compliance.
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    Properly conducted interviews of witnesses following an incident is as important to understanding what occurred, as is saving data and information following an incident (presented in the first paper of this series).
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    Significant critical information is often lost following an accident/ incident due to poor data and information gathering procedures. As a result, should litigation occur, information that could be useful in determining the cause of the incident and later in building a defense is not collected.
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    After much anticipation, the new 2013 Edition of NFPA 654, Standard for the Prevention of Fire and Dust Explosions from the Manufacturing, Processing and Handling of Combustible Particulate Solids, has finally been issued. This is one of the key standards utilized for safe handling of combustible solids.
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    If you are covered by EPA’s RMP rule and/or OSHA’s PSM regulation then you most likely are in the process of completing the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Top-screen/Chemical Security Assessment Tool (CSAT). If you possess chemicals on the threshold quantity(TQ) list from RMP or PSM, and you were not covered by these regulations, it is not a safe assumption that CFATS (Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard) does not apply to your facility.
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    Many petrochemical companies are currently engaged in flare systems review and upgrade projects. They wish to ensure continuing safe operations, to maximize the use of their existing flare systems, and to minimize the need for modifying existing flare structures or building new ones.
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    OSHA published the Process Safety Management (PSM) standard in 1992. At that time it was viewed as one of the first performance-based regulations in the US. Previous OSHA regulations were viewed as prescriptive or specification based where all documentation and reporting requirements are included. What made the OSHA PSM standard performance-based was the expectation that each covered facility would need to develop a PSM program and would need to then implement the elements of that program.
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