New program benchmarks process safety management systems

Center for Chemical Process Safety adds formal benchmarking to its metrics, guidelines, and other tools to improve safety of chemical, energy, pharmaceutical facilities.


The Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), a technology alliance of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), has announced a partnership with Phillip Townsend and Associates (PTAI) to establish a program of formal benchmarking in process safety in the chemical, energy, and pharmaceutical industries.

Participating companies will compare their process safety programs and performance in an effort to identify best practices and drive process safety improvement across the board.

Scott Berger, executive director of CCPS , believes "this new program will identify effective practices and help make companies' process safety management efforts even more effective." The program is open to all companies, whether or not they are CCPS members.

"One of the most important lessons we've learned from our experience benchmarking the hydrocarbons industries for the past 17 years is that process safety is key to achieving success as a superior performer," says David Bohmbach, president and CEO of Houston-based PTAI. "Simply put, plants that lead in process safety also lead in most other key performance measures."

The benchmarking program's design is being guided by a special panel of safety leaders that CCPS has assembled from its target industries. James Muoio of LyondellBasell, who serves as chair of the CCPS Benchmarking Committee, says, "This program, following the development of CCPS's Guidelines for Process Safety Metrics, advances process safety by providing a means for companies to fully measure their process safety management program relative to industry leaders and their peers."

The initial effort will focus on benchmarking six of the 20 elements of a process safety management system that CCPS has defined in earlier work:
• Process safety culture;
• Compliance with standards, codes, regulations, and laws;
• Hazard identification and risk analysis;
• Asset integrity and reliability;
• Change management; and
• Measurement and metrics.

This process safety management system has been widely referenced in publications and regulatory actions. Berger said that this new benchmarking effort also builds on the recent publication of CCPS's Guidelines for Risk Based Process Safety and its established system of Global Process Safety Metrics.

CCPS was founded in 1985 by AIChE in response to the accident in Bhopal, India, to serve as the focal point for information exchange on chemical plant safety and security. More than 120 of the world's leading chemical, energy, and pharmaceutical companies have joined CCPS.


-Edited by Peter Welander, process industries editor,
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