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Start-ups are non-routine, transient and sometimes be quite cumbersome operations; these periods require intense activity and attention from the operators. Starting up a process unit results in significant changes (operating temperature and pressure etc.) on the system as it brings the pipework and vessels up to the required operating conditions from ambient. Under such recurring extreme conditions pipework and different safety instruments can experience fatigue or other deterioration. These can develop as a result of the rapidly changing parameters during start-up. These mechanical failures coupled with the lack of routine, competency and inadequate training can lead to major incidents.
Ask yourself and your crew:
- How can something like this happen here (e.g. on our site)?
- What safety measures (i.e. procedures, controls/barriers) do we have in place to mitigate the risk?
- How do we know the risk controls/barriers are working?
- What improvements or changes should we make to the procedures, controls/barriers or the way we work?
Original content courtesy of IChemE Safety Centre