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Further down the rabbit hole – detailed measurement for lead process indicators on barrier failures

Author : Zsuzsanna Gyenes, Deputy to the Director, IChemE Safety Centre

15 October 2019

Process safety and plant integrity can be supported by the thorough application for both lagging and leading indicators or metrics. Those figures are as useful as the knowledge of their practical application as well as limitation. Plant managers should have a clear understanding of what they measure and more importantly, why.

To support their daily efforts, the IChemE Safety Centre developed its guidance document for practical application on process safety leading metrics and identified the most significant ones in 2015. Plant operators can make their decision as to which of those metrics they consider relevant to run their plant safely. There is, however, still a lack of consistency in lead metrics across industry and differing levels on understanding and interpretation of lead metrics in different companies.

The IChemE Safety Centre, in collaboration with its member companies from a great variety of industrial sectors all over the world, realised the need for some consistency in measuring failure and launched a project in the beginning of 2018. They developed a supplementary guidance to provide context for barrier failures and in particular the lead metric ‘barrier fail on test’ and ‘barrier failing on demand’.

The guidance could be used to help understand the difference between design and operational acceptance criteria. This first document focuses on providing more clarity on the type of failures/events to be included in your metrics and will also aid in the goal of capturing similar data across companies and across industries. This will allow for benchmarking and identification of good practice for us to learn from.

This paper presents the pass/fail criteria for the first set of safety critical elements, pressure relief devices and the connection to some lead process safety metrics in the original guidance document published in 2015.

Zsuzsanna Gyenes, PhD

After graduating with a Master of Science in Biochemical Engineering from the Technical University of Budapest, Dr. Zsuzsanna Gyenes worked in disaster management for the Hungarian Government. During this time, she obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Public Administration. She then moved into a role as a Seveso Site Inspector for Hungary, at this time she also obtained her PhD cum laude on the development of procedures and tools for the improvement of industrial safety against external effects from the National Defence PhD Institution in Military Technology in Hungary.

Zsuzsanna Gyenes, Deputy to the Director, IChemE Safety Centre
Zsuzsanna Gyenes, Deputy to the Director, IChemE Safety Centre

Following her time as a Seveso Inspector, she was the Head of Section for Nuclear Safety in the National Directorate General for Disaster Management in Budapest. Her most recent role was as a Scientific Technical Office for the European Commission Joint Research Centre, where she worked to assist member states on learning from incidents and Seveso implementation, including land use planning policy. She commenced as the Deputy to the Director of the IChemE Safety Centre in September 2017.

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