BakerRisk is pleased to join the 2022 Spring Meeting and 18th Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS), hosted by the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) and the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS). This in-person event will take place on Sunday, April 10 – Thursday, April 14, 2022 in BakerRisk’s very own “backyard” – San Antonio, Texas!
BakerRisk looks forward to warmly welcoming conference attendees to our great city, and hosting a very special tour for CCPS TSC members at our Wilfred E. Baker Test Facility the evening of April 13, as well as a timely hazards awareness course with demonstrations on April 14th. Conference attendees may sign up for this course here, or stop by our exhibit booth to be entered into our raffle for a free pass! The course and demonstrations are an excellent opportunity for conference attendees to marry new lessons learned with visual aids – real life examples of common worksite hazards.
During the Spring Meeting and GCPS, we will have 6 presentations, as listed below. Please stop by our exhibit booth (#100) to discuss these topics and any other safety queries or concerns you may have. Our team will also be raffling off a complimentary pass to any of our other upcoming courses hosted by the BakerRisk Learning Center – so be sure to stop by for your chance to win! We look forward to seeing you!
When the 20 elements of CCPS Risk Based Process Safety (RBPS) were published in 2007, they represented a major improvement in risk management over the 14 elements of the OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) regulation. Not only were several additional elements added, but the scope of many of those elements common with OSHA PSM were broadened. The author has successfully applied RBPS to facilities in countries that do not have process safety regulations, and to industries in the USA that are not covered by OSHA PSM. The author has also previously presented a paper on additional elements that could broaden the scope of RBPS further to promote and drive greater risk reduction where appropriate.
World-wide facility incident investigation audits have frequently identified that symptoms and events were stated as the root cause(s). This failure to identify the true underlying root causes often resulted in recommendations that were unlikely to prevent recurrence of the subject incident. To assist companies in correctly identifying the underlying root causes, the author has developed a root cause analysis (RCA) technique that not only systematically drives the RCA to the fundamental underlying management system weaknesses, but also covers occupational safety, health, and environment (SHE); the 20 elements of RBPS, plus some of the additional elements from the author’s previous paper, such as human factors, and engineering project phases. This paper describes the issues and solutions in detail with examples illustrated from the RCA technique.
In response to the American Petroleum Institute (API) guidance on siting of portable buildings and trailers in process plants, many facilities have recently been utilizing tent structures for cafeterias, break rooms, and other similar uses. The capacity of blast resistant tents to resist blast loads greater than the default tent types defined in API RP 756 must be demonstrated through modeling, calculations, or tests. A novel concept for the design of a blast resistant tent was tested and modeled for this purpose. A summary of the unique design and the supporting models and tests is provided in this paper. Models were developed using finite element analysis. Shock tube tests of the novel concept were conducted as well as full-scale tests that subjected the tent to blast loads from a vapor cloud explosion.
Fire water systems employ the use of elevated, gravity-fed fuel tanks to supply diesel fuel to pumps that are used for fire suppression. The integrity of this system is critical to providing firewater in the event of an explosion and/or fire to prevent knock-on effects. Typical fuel tanks are horizontal steel cylinders that can hold 350 gal of diesel fuel or more. The fuel tank assembly has an angle iron steel support structure that elevates the fuel tank above the pump, typically at a height of 6 ft. For the fire water pumps to maintain function, it is imperative that the tanks remain above the pumps and connected to them. If a flammable release and subsequent vapor cloud explosion (VCE) occurs near a fire water pump station, it is important to understand the impact the blast load will have on the fuel tanks.
This empirical study evaluated the blast response of 350 gal, 6 ft elevated diesel fuel tanks filled with an 80% equivalent weight of water to simulate a nearly full fuel tank. A deflagration load generator (DLG) directed blast loads between 1-10 psi and 50-180 psi-ms at a 3×3 array of nearly identical fuel tanks. Each row of 3 tanks were rotated to different orientations with respect to the blast load to investigate the effect of fuel tank orientation with respect to potential explosion sites. Pressure gauges and high-speed video recorded the blast loads and dynamic response of the fuel tanks during testing.
In addition to the empirical study, an analytical Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was conducted using LS-DYNA, with the purpose of modeling tank response at the 3 different tank orientations, under the empirical blast loading conditions gathered from the test data. Test video and post-test inspection of the tanks were used to validate FEA modeling techniques which could be used to explore additional parameters, i.e., larger tanks, alternative support structures, or different load regimes to develop a better understanding of safe fuel tank installation in process facilities. This paper documents the DLG test program and the FEA modeling efforts described above.  LSTC, LS-DYNA Keyword User’s Manual, Volumes I and II, Version 971, Livermore Software Technology Center (LSTC), Livermore, CA, 2007.
Pressure relief systems are commonly considered as part of compliance audits for processes covered by the OSHA PSM standard (OSHA 1910.119: Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals (8 FR 9313)) and the EPA Risk Management Plan (40 CFR 68, Subpart G). Their design documentation is a requirement a requirement of the Process Safety Information (PSI) element of these standards, and their proper inspection and testing is a requirement of the Mechanical Integrity (MI) element of these standards. This paper will evaluate the specific language of the above standards to provide guidance regarding their application to pressure relief systems and will discuss techniques for the evaluation of pressure relief systems within the context of a compliance audit. Additionally, this paper will provide examples of compliant documentation regarding pressure relief systems, as well as examples for documentation for which compliance auditors should generate findings.
History shows us that many facilities handling hazardous materials have experienced major fires that have had a profound impact on personnel, caused extreme damage to the facility, and resulted in severe business interruption. Even with the lessons learned from past incidents and the subsequent implementation of highly reliable safeguards, major fires still occur. More often than not, successful mitigation of the consequences from a major fire depends to a greater extent on the efforts put on the planning side than the actual firefighting after the occurrence. In other words, a facility that is aware of its own firefighting capabilities and has a solid plan to maximize the available resources is more likely to be successful in bringing the fire under control with minimum possible damage.
A fire pre-plan describes major aspects related to a specific fire scenario, which includes the available firefighting resources, the materials involved, individual responsibilities, and factors that may cause fire to escalate. Fire pre-plans should be a “living” document that aligns with the facility firefighting philosophy and is frequently updated to capture the changes in process conditions and firefighting resources. How do we then develop a fire pre-plan that has plant-wide buy-in and is dynamic in its very essence? The process of developing a fire pre-plan should involve all the stakeholders that are directly or indirectly concerned with the facility emergency response plan and ought to be built on the foundation of a detailed “Fire Hazard Analysis” (FHA) of the facility.
An FHA is referred to as a “Fire Hazard and Mitigation Analysis” (FHMA) when it also includes a thorough review and analysis of available and necessary mitigations that already exist and/or those that may be recommended at the facility, in addition to examining the potential consequences of the fire. Such a process ensures a more comprehensive examination of both the fire hazards and the available protection systems, emergency response capabilities, and other supporting resources.
This paper will illustrate how unit-specific fire pre-plans can be developed using the data derived from the FHMA. The stakeholder involvement and interaction of a well-conducted FHMA develops ownership of this unique pre-plan development and implementation process. Moreover, the resultant pre-plan will be an evergreen document that can be easily updated to include site changes.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are used in a variety of applications to provide energy on demand, collectively known as Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) when assembled into racks of modules. Unfortunately, Li-ion batteries also have the potential for hazards such as fire, explosions, and the release of toxic gasses, which have the potential of amplifying hazards as BESS. Depending on the arrangement of the racks and modules, the hazards have the potential to propagate between batteries, modules, or even rack-to-rack. The consequences of the hazards are dependent upon many factors including the chemistry of the battery, the arrangement of modules and racks, and the overall geometry of the BESS equipment group or enclosure.
In this paper, the authors describe how thermal runaways can occur in BESS and evaluate potential blast impacts and resulting structural response due to release of flammable gas mixtures from BESS systems. Most current Li‐ion battery cells contain flammable electrolyte that can become a hazard if a cell is breached. In addition, Li‐ion batteries have the potential to eject flammable decomposition gases once they enter in thermal runaway where the composition of the battery gas produced by the Li‐ion batteries is typically provided by the UL 9540A test standard. Once the gas composition is determined, the combustion properties of the flammable gas mixture can be used to predict blast loads using an internal deflagration scenario (explosion confined in an enclosure) or as an open field vapor cloud explosion scenario (explosion outside an enclosure).
Finally, this paper will discuss how the blast load predictions for the BESS systems can then be utilized to develop compound blast contours for the BESS facility site for personnel injuries and/or building damage. Examples will be provided where the structural response of buildings in the vicinity of a BESS site is assessed against the predicted blast using screening methodologies (for offsite, or far-field buildings) and dynamic structural analysis methods such as Single Degree of Freedom (SDOF) analysis methodologies (for on-site or nearfield buildings). The BESS enclosures themselves can also be analyzed using SDOF as well as analyzed for debris hazard potential.