The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Safety Centre and the Safety Institute of Australia published two new chapters in the Occupational Health and Safety Body of Knowledge this week, aiming to close the gap between health and safety professionals and process safety engineers.
The Occupational Health and Safety Body of Knowledge is an online resource used all over the world, defining for professionals what they need to know about safety.
Completed by a cross discipline team of both IChemE Safety Centre (ISC) members and Safety Institute Australia (SIA) members, the new chapters launched via an online webinar on Wednesday 26 April. The two chapters Process Hazards (Chemical) and Managing Process Safety, will focus on process hazards in the chemical industries, and process safety management respectively.
The ISC and the SIA announced plans to work together in January 2016 to encourage better understanding, the sharing of best practice, and improve general safety at work between OHS professionals and engineers in the process industries.
According to Safe Work Australia, there were 178 workplace safety incidents reported in Australia in 2016; seventeen of these occurred in the process industries, which includes chemicals, oil and gas, pharmaceutical production and food production.
IChemE Safety Centre director, Trish Kerin will host the launch with a webinar entitled An Introduction to Process Safety. This follows introductions from Australian National University Emeritus Professor Andrew Hopkins, IChemE Past President and Former Chair of the UK Health and Safety Executive, Dame Judith Hackitt, and OHS Body of Knowledge Process Safety Technical Panel Member, John Temby.
“The collaboration between ISC and SIA has been a positive step in closing the gap between process safety and more generalist health and safety roles,” Kerin said.
“A basic knowledge of process safety is essential to improving your safety competencies more generally, whether you work in the process industries or not.”
Pam Pryor, Registrar of the Australian OHS Education Accreditation Board, and custodian of the OHS Body of Knowledge said, “These new chapters are a fantastic addition to the Body of Knowledge.
“The evidence is clear; all health and safety generalists should have a basic knowledge of process safety, particularly when they are operating in high-risk environments.
“I am confident that this development will be essential to closing the current gap of knowledge, and in turn reduce the number of incidents, not only in Australia, but on a global scale.”
The addition of process safety content will help to advance process safety knowledge and understanding worldwide.